Thursday, January 06, 2011

Oxford Healthcare Increases Rates

While the new Congress looks for ways to earn cheap political points and prepares to vote for the dead-on-arrival "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act", some new provisions of the Affordable Care Act are being rolled out.

The "medical loss ratio" provision states that insurance companies will be required to spend 80-85 percent of their premium dollars on medical care and health care related improvements. If not, health care companies will be required to provide rebates to customers. Primary care doctors and surgeons in fields with shortages will receive a 10 percent bonus in primary care services. In an attempt to address the Medicare Part D "donut" hole, a progressive reform will provide increased help to beneficiaries who fall between the catastrophic and base levels of spending on drugs. Read more about these new provisions at the Hill's Healthcare blog (

It is always difficult to bridge the gap between policies such as these and an individual's personal experience with their own health care. There are many different insurance companies on the market and every state has its own complex laws influenced by each states own politics and finances. However, it is important to give witness to some of the abuses of the current market system when they arise.

My health care provider, Oxford Healthcare, which I get through my employer, increased their premiums by 30% this year thus causing my employer to accept a cheaper contract which covers only in-network service providers. In what other sector are this kinds of price surges even possible? The cost increase will have a real affect on the health care my colleagues, including my own, as we all scramble to find new service providers and bring them up to speed on our conditions.