As the ObamaCare veil continues to be lifted, it’s further exposed as a cavalier, irresponsible piece of legislation wrecking havoc on Texas health insurance. From its severely high costs to negative results like doctors dropping Medicaid and insurers being forced to close up shop, health care reform has already caused more pains than gains.
And these unfortunate consequences are hitting close to home. According to the Dallas Morning News, “Grand Prairie-based National Health Insurance Co. said it could no longer offer individual accident and health insurance policies. It blamed its decision on the company’s inability to meet requirements of the health care overhaul signed into law this year.”
Starting January 1st, the law requires that health insurers meet a specific medical loss ratio, which is the percentage of an insurer’s premiums spent on medical services for its customers versus administrative costs. The law views certain tasks—like liaising with doctors, protecting patient information and preventing insurance fraud—as administrative even though they significantly improve quality of health care and lower costs. As a result, costs for insurers will rise, the quality of health care will fall, and quality Texas health insurance companies will struggle to stay afloat.
Jared Wolfe, executive director for the Texas Association of Health Plans, believes that “there are a number of plans who won’t be able to meet this requirement and will simply exit the market.” Many health economists say that more small insurers like local National Health Insurance Co. may soon buckle under the weight of the law’s mandates.
The individual Texas health insurance market has higher administrative costs for insurers than the large group market, so as small Texas health insurance companies fight to stay in business, consumer options will be reduced. ObamaCare was supposed to increase access to health care, not decrease it. It’s just one more example of why the pains are not worth the gains.