Insurance Executives: Obamacare Fees Will Be Passed on to Consumers

Thursday, 08 May 2014 09:27 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Fees imposed on health insurance providers by the government — expected to raise over $100 billion over 10 years — as part of Obamacare will be passed on to policyholders, health insurance executives told a House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, The New York Times reports.

Mark Pratt, senior vice president with America’s Health Insurance Plans called for the tax levied on health insurers to be repealed, The Daily Caller reports, because it is "undermining efforts to control costs and provide affordable coverage options."

"We remain concerned that adverse selection and unnecessarily high costs will occur in the absence of broad participation in the new exchanges," Pratt testified.

The health insurance executives also "complained bitterly" about the fees, according to the Times.

According to a news release by the Energy and Commerce Committee, "witnesses were unable to provide detailed estimates about what premium increases the American people can expect next year. The committee will continue its thoughtful oversight of this law and demand transparency from an administration that has distorted the reality of this law throughout its implementation."

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The executives summoned to the White House also could not say how many Americans who signed up for coverage during open enrollment, which ended March 31, had paid their premiums, a requirement for the coverage to become active. The problem stems from duplicate enrollments, which occurred because of the numerous technical problems when Healthcare.gov launched on Oct. 1, according to The Daily Caller.

"Does the administration know who’s paid for their plan?" asked Ohio Republican Rep. Bill Johnson.

The insurers, according the Times, said they did not know and that the Obama administration had does not have an automated financial management system yet to handle claims.

But the Times reports that the executives surprised Republicans who have been critical of Obamacare by testifying that the law "had not led to a government takeover of their industry," with several of those in attendance testifying that their "stock prices had increased in the last few years."

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