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‘Obamacare’ reduced health insurance cost

September 12, 2012
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

To the editor:

With all the attack ads on "Obamacare," I want to share how the Affordable Care Act has actually reduced my health care insurance cost.

I have major medical catastrophic insurance. In the case of a catastrophic illness, this insurance kicks in to pay what is left on my bill after Medicare and my Medigap insurances have paid their portion. Recently, I received a check from my major medical catastrophic insurance, with a cover letter stating this was a partial refund of my 2011 premium.

My curiosity was aroused! Was this check a result of ACA? Turns out, indeed it was. A medical loss ratio was included in the ACA to ensure a fair portion of premiums be properly spent on claims. Insurance companies can spend no more than 15 percent of premiums on administration. This is referred to as the 85 percent-15 percent ratio. In the case of United States Life, they were forced to refund 10.8 percent of the 2011 premiums paid to them because they had not met the 85 percent-15 percent medical loss ratio. Thus, my premium refund.

The medical loss ratio section of ACA has not been mentioned much in the media. Hopefully we all can look beyond the overheated rhetoric of the election campaign and focus on what the ACA actually does - like keep insurance companies on their toes with a medical loss ratio. With more premium monies going to pay claims, there will be fewer claim rejections, and that's a good thing for all of us.

Joanne Hannon

Merrill and Pinellas Park, Fla.



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