OK

Okay, I keep seeing people posting on Facebook and message boards and comments' sections of news stories, claiming that that they got a letter from their insurance company saying they're getting hosed with a huge premium hike.

Some of this might be conservatives spouting without having any idea what they're talking about, sure. Or even outright lying - we've seen that a thousand times. And some, while real, might be apples-to-oranges comparisons of what was acceptable insurance before the new standards compared to what they have to purchase now. Before htey had junk, probably without even knowing it, or something like that.

Some of it, though, might be something more nefarious.

Please follow me over the squiggly - this is important, I think.

Remember when the Democrats passed the CCRA (Credit Card Reform Act) back in 2009? Some Credit Card companies started sending out letters informing people that their rates would go to 29% (I'm not exaggerating - it was 29%+ for me, on a card that was carrying a sub-10% interest) immediately, and that if their cardholders didn't accept it, they would have to call in and opt out.

Otherwise, the new rate would take effect, no problem!

And if the cardholder did call in, he or she would keep the current rate for the duration of the contract, but - BEWARE! - the card would not be renewed. It was worded as a threat. I can imagine for many people, particularly those caught in the credit crunch of the collapse, it was a jolting threat.

You see, CCRA, while not limiting CC rates (boo - we need usury laws!), prevented jacking the rates mid-contract, or for specious reasons, like particular stores where a cardholder shopped (remember that?). So some of the clever credit card companies tried a preemptive run to scare people into accepting massive rate increases "voluntarily."

I called my CC company and got a manager on the line, and proceeded to ream her inside out - had her in tears, I hope - by telling the smug little know-nothing that she was SCAMMING and SCARING people for corporate profit. All these people wouldn't call in, wouldn't know what was going on, and then get hit in January (this notice was in November) with their Christmas bill and 29% interest! Heck, many people probably threw their notices away, as it looked just like one of those junk "offers" you get from CC companies all the time.

I told them to drop dead in no uncertain terms. They said, "We won't let you back on when your current contract expires- be careful," so I told them to drop dead with more colorful language.

I stopped using that card immediately, but kept it on my desk. When it was near expiration, a year and more, I called and got a very polite gentleman who was happy to renew at my 9% rate, and even offered to drop the annual fee for me. Oh, and how he apologized for the misunderstanding.

I told him to drop dead, too...well, metaphorically speaking. Actually what I told him had more to do with creating life than ending it...

In any case, this isn't about credit card companies...

Check this out:

http://www.usatoday.com/...

It's a short piece and WORTH THE READ!

Money quote:

Anthem spokesman Tony Felts said urging people to renew their current policies before the health care law takes effect in earnest Jan. 1 is allowed under insurance regulations. He said the option to keep current rates will be available into mid-November, after the exchange is underway.

"The letter's purpose is to let the member know that he or she has the choice to keep their current benefits and coverage for another year by renewing early," so the policy starts before the new rules begin, giving consumers another year to shop for plans that comply, Felts said.

Did you catch that? These companies are going at their individual policy holders with scary letters offering them to keep things the same for another year, but at much higher premiums on the renewal. The companies aren't being straight in explaining the subsidies and that the new rates will be available on the exchange (and will likely be MUCH LOWER than this particular offer, not even counting subsidies!).

The insurance companies in KY - Humana and Anthem, apparently, are trying a similar version of the scare tactic employed by the CC companies before CCRA went into effect.

"You have to act now!" they explain, playing on people's fears of change and of PPACA. This is scumbaggedness in the extreme.

Please, when you read someone talking about huge increases on a message board, do that person a good deed and show them this story. Even if they're so mad, they're yelling at "Obimbo!" or whatever...if the letter is seen by them as an accurate reflection of a massive price-hike, can you blame them?

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