Do this year's health care reform provisions justify higher insurance premiums?
Insurers say there's no question about it, that rates will rise due to the new costs. The White House's Nancy-Ann DeParle, though, counters that any additional costs will be "pennies or almost nothing," because the administration was careful to delay the changes with the greatest impact on insurers until 2014, so that the requirement that most people purchase insurance would offset any higher costs. Also, she said, some of the provisions only apply to new health plans (story here for National Journal subscribers).
By the end of September, insurers will no longer be allowed to impose cost-sharing on patients for preventive medical services identified by a new task force. In addition, insurers will have to cover young adults up to age 26 on their parents' policies, and they won't be allowed to exclude kids from coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions, to cancel policies unless the initial application was fraudulent, or impose lifetime benefit limits.
Does these changes justify premium increases? How much? And how tough should the administration and states be in fighting back?