“Tangible good news” was the subject line of the latest missive from the White House. I’ve always wondered how one can send something tangible in an e-mail, so I opened it.
One of the features of health care reform is a requirement that insurance companies must spend at least 80% of what they collect in premiums on actual medical care. Companies that collect too much must rebate the difference. So the missive was crowing that some an estimated $850 million would be paid back to some 8.5 million policyholders this year, as an glorious achievement of the new health care law.
So some fraction of the population, less than 10% of American households, received a check for an average of $100.
Meanwhile, my health insurance company has announced their new and improved (which is to say more expensive) premiums for the coming year:
|Coverage||Old premium, per month||New premium, per month||New premium, per hour (40 hrs/week)|
So that $100 would pay for this year’s premium increase for my wife and me for a little over a month. But it wouldn’t even provide a week’s coverage for a single person.
Meanwhile, the Federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour wouldn’t pay for coverage for a couple or a family. New York State is raising the state minimum wage to $9 in steps through the end of 2015 (it’s still $7.25 for the rest of this year), but even that wouldn’t cover the premium for a family.
So, big whoop for Obamacare.
And if you did receive a rebate on your health insurance, don’t spend it all in one place.