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This is mostly encouraging news: The big health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield Association isn't supporting Republican efforts to find ways to try to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Mostly. There is this one teensy-weensy exception.
Although BCBSA isn't joining with the GOP to back a comprehensive delay, it does want the Obama administration to delay the full implementation of some parts of the Affordable Care Act — including new limits on how much insurers can vary their premiums based on age.
The healthcare law says insurers can only charge their older customers three times more than what they charge young people. Insurers wanted that ratio set at five-to-one, and have pushed the Health and Human Services Department to gradually phase in the 3:1 ratio as a way to avoid sticker shock for young consumers.
Wait a minute. That wasn't supposed to be how this worked. They weren't supposed to bring premium rates for younger people up to meet the level they've been using to gouge older people. They were supposed to bring rates for older people down, closer to what everyone else is being charged. Health insurers will be forced to justify dramatic increases in premiums under the law. But the federal government can't reject increases.
The good news is, 37 states have that power and 36 of them have exercised it. In 2010, regulators turned back over 900 rate increases. Looks like those regulators are really going to have their work cut out for them starting in 2014.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:32 AM PST.