Health Insurer Rebates: Where Has The Money Gone?

Topics: Insurance, Marketplace, Health Costs, Health Reform, Aging

Aug 10, 2012

The New York Times reports that many consumers who get health coverage through their employers wonder what happened to the insurer rebates that were part of “the great health insurance giveback” under the health law. Also in the news, The Associated Press details who will be hit the hardest by the health law’s tax provisions.

The New York Times: Health Insurer Refunds May Stall In Employers‘ Hands
It was the great health insurance giveback: $1.1 billion in premiums returned to policyholders under the Affordable Care Act. But while many people who buy their own insurance found a check in the mail last week, millions insured through employers are still wondering what is happening with the money (Bernstein, 8/9).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Care Law’s Big Tax Hikes Hit The Wealthiest 2 Percent – Others Also Caught In The Net
Who gets thumped by higher taxes in President Barack Obama’s health care law? The wealthiest 2 percent of Americans will take the biggest hit, starting next year. And the pain will be shared by some who aren’t so well off — people swept up in a hodgepodge of smaller tax changes that will help finance health coverage for millions in need (8/9).

Crain’s Business Insurance/Modern Healthcare:  Healthcare Reform Drives interest In Captive Insurers
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has increased middle-market employers’ interest in captives to fund medical stop-loss for their self-funded health benefit plans, captive experts say.  Similar to captive property/ casualty programs, medical stop-loss captives allow self-funded employers to pool part of their excess medical claims costs with other like-minded companies and then purchase commercial stop-loss coverage at higher attachment points (Wojcik, 8/9).

In other news, Politico Pro reports on the future of long-term care insurance and the next possible iterations of the CLASS Act –

Politico Pro: Talks Under Way On Long Term Care Steps
Months after the Obama administration said it shut down efforts to implement the fiscally unstable CLASS Act, federal officials have participated in closely guarded, multi-stakeholder conversations about ways to finance long-term care. In the aftermath of the Obama administration’s decision to shut down the troubled health care reform program, policy experts have quietly huddled to ponder policy prescriptions for boosting long-term care coverage. Those discussions, which have explored possible fixes to the CLASS Act, have been attended by federal officials, as well as long-term care advocates, insurance company representatives, actuaries and policy experts, according to participants (Millman, 8/9).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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