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Your Views: Health care rebates put focus on true cost of Obamacare

POSTED: May 25, 2012 1:00 a.m.

I have read several articles regarding rebates being received by policyholders as a result of the new Obamacare law. All these articles have stated that this is a benefit from the new legislation which was passed and signed into law on March 23, 2010.

These articles stated that $1.3 billion are being returned to policyholders in rebates. In Georgia, we had 109,776 individual policyholders with $3,855,429 in rebates an average rebate of $35. There were 217,653 individuals covered under small group policies receiving $13,383,273 for an average of $61 per covered individual. Those covered under large group policies totaled 365,960 enrollees and they received a total of $13,174,803, for an average rebate of $36 per enrollee.

This information was furnished by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the same source quoted in the article by Richard Alonso-Zaldivar in your April 27 edition. The author was very positive about the fact that this was an advantageous result of Obamacare.

All of us realize $1.3 billion is a lot of money. However, when applied to the average rebate to the individual of approximately $35, it does not look as impressive.

I believe that additional information should be shared with the American population concerning the cost of this legislation. This $1.3 billion figure represents less than 1 percent of the premiums paid by insureds, which means that the insurance industry was right on target in its original premium calculations.

Most experts in our industry as well as other analysts who follow economic conditions in the health care industry agree that the new legislation has cost a minimum increase in premiums of 15 percent. With this in mind, the additional cost of Obamacare has been somewhere between $15 billion and $20 billion. Think about it.

Ron Christopher
Gainesville


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