Health Actuaries Say Rates Will Soar under Obamacare

Big surprise there, no?

Comedian Al Franken of Minnesota, who also happens to be a Democrat senator (who was elected under dubious circumstances), wants to blame that assessment on the fact that many actuaries work for insurance companies. It’s true Al: Most actuaries do work for insurance companies. That’s the primary reason the profession exists: to assess risk in ways that insurance companies can cover all the claims and still make a profit. I think that’s the part that Obama and the libs want to squash in all of this – insurance companies making a profit. Left untouched, Obamacare is sure to do that, as the government will eventually shut the rest of the players out.

Few aspects of the Affordable Care Act are more critical to its success than affordability, but in recent weeks experts have predicted costs for some health plans could soar next year.

Now health law supporters are pushing back, noting close ties between the actuaries making the forecasts and an insurance industry that has been complaining about taxes and other factors it says will lead to rate shock for consumers.

“Most actuaries in this country — what percentage are employed by insurance companies?” Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, asked an actuary last week at a hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.The committee was discussing a study published last month by the Society of Actuaries SOA predicting that, thanks to sicker patients joining the coverage pool, medical claims per member will rise 32 percent in the individual plans expected to dominate the ACA exchanges next year. In some states costs will rise as much as 80 percent, the report said.

The witness was unable to answer Franken’s question, but the senator made his point. Insurance is why actuaries exist. The industry and the profession are hard to separate. Using predictive math, actuaries try to make sure insurers of all kinds don’t run out of money to pay claims. Many actuaries also work for consultants whose clients include insurance companies.

Undisclosed in the SOA report was the fact that about half the people who oversaw it work for the health insurance industry that is warning about rate shock. The chairman of society committee supervising the project was Kenny Kan, chief actuary at Maryland-based CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

Others on the committee work for firms with insurer clients. The report included committee members’ names but not their affiliations.

via Health Actuaries: Obamacare Rates Will Soar – Healthy Living – Everyday Health.


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