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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rick Holmes
July 17, 2013 5:11 p.m.



More people saving more money thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the NYT reports:



State insurance regulators say they have approved rates for 2014 that are at least 50 percent lower on average than those currently available in New York. Beginning in October, individuals in New York City who now pay $1,000 a month or more for coverage will be able to shop for health insurance for as little as $308 monthly. With federal subsidies, the cost will be even lower.


This isn’t surprising – rates for individuals dropped dramatically in Massachusetts under Romneycare – but it is a reminder of the relatively narrow problem Obamacare was designed to address. For a long time, prices in the individual insurance market have been way out of whack. Government insurance managers mandated discounts from health care providers; large group insurers (mostly employer-provided) negotiated discounts from providers.  The providers made up for their loses by charging top dollar to those with private insurance.  Private insurers compensated for those high prices by refusing to insure those with pre-existing conditions and by charging higher premiums to those who were old and/or sick.

That market failure is what the ACA health exchanges are designed to remedy.  The prospects of selling to millions of previously uninsured customers has encouraged insurers to compete on price in the state health insurance exchanges. They have accepted the new rules on insuring those with pre-existing conditions and the standards of acceptable coverage set by the ACA and state regulators, and they have priced their policies to be competitive and still make a profit.  Looks like the new system is working.

 

 

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