Opponents of Obamacare beware–the refund checks are coming

Here is a warning.  If you run into Pat Hancock in the Hilton Head Island area of South Carolina, don’t say anything bad about Obamacare–she’ll take your head off.

As far as she’s concerned the Prez just sent her a check for $405.  That was the amount of the refund her health insurance company sent her along with the following message:

This letter is to inform you that you will receive a refund of a portion of your health insurance premiums.  This refund is required by the Affordable Care Act — the health reform law.

The Medical Loss Ratio of the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance companies to issue a refund to their policy holders if the company, as the letter states:

“…does not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums it receives on health care services, such as doctors and hospital bills, and activities to improve patient safety.  No more than 20 percent of premiums may be spent on administrative costs such as salaries, sales, and advertising….the 80/20 rule in the Affordable Care Act is intended to ensure that consumers get value for their health care dollars.

Ms. Hancock’s health insurance company did not meet the Medical Loss Ratio requirement so she received a refund.  She is part of the approximately one-third of all individuals who buy their own health insurance coverage who will receive a refund check by the end of this month.  The total amount of these refunds will be approximately $426 million.  Small business owners who provide health insurance to employees are expected to receive $377 million in refunds and large employers will get back $541 million.

One of the principle reasons the nation is split in opinion on Obamacare is that none of the benefits Americans have received so far came with credit being given to the health care reform.  The public hasn’t been connecting the dots between the health care law and benefits such as the small business health insurance tax credits, affordable premiums in high-risk pools, children being allowed to stay on parents policies until they are 26, and rebate checks to Medicare patients who have reached the donut hole.

But that will change if all theses Medical Loss Ratio refund checks come with the same explanation Ms. Hancock received giving credit where credit is due—Obamacare.

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