- Created on 01 November 2013
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Delaying Obamacare by just a few months could send insurance premiums through the roof.
Congressional Republicans and some Democrats are pushing to give individuals more time to sign up for Obamacare after major technical problems have stymied enrollment. But insurers say the consequences of such a move would be heavy.
That's because insurers set their rates for 2014 assuming that all Americans would be subject to the individual mandate, which requires them to get health insurance or face penalties.
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must provide coverage to everyone -- even the sickest people -- which would greatly increase insurers' risk and cost. To offset this, lawmakers included the mandate to prompt younger, healthier people who don't use a lot of medical care to sign up.
But if the mandate were delayed by a year, many of those lower-cost folks may not sign up. About 2 million fewer people would would obtain coverage in the individual market, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
"All rates filed and approved with regulators are based on the mandate being in effect and the enrollment period ending March 31," said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group. "If that were to change, the rates would have to change."
If the individual mandate didn't exist, premiums would be about 15% to 20% higher, according to the CBO.
Adjusting the 2014 rates, however, could be pretty tough to do. How that would work remains an open question, Zirkelbach said.
It's possible some insurers could appeal to state and federal regulators to increase the premiums mid-year, but there's not a lot of precedent for that, said Yevgeniy Feyman, fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a free-market think tank.
It's not only next year's rates that could be affected. If the mandate is delayed, 2015 premiums will likely skyrocket. That's because insurers start setting their premiums for the next year in April.
Under the current plan, open enrollment will end March 31, allowing insurers to base their 2015 rates on the risk pool of their 2014 enrollees. If the mandate is delayed and that risk pool is made up of mostly older, unhealthy people, insurers will jack up their premiums.
Also, some smaller insurers may opt to leave the market, which would also cause rates to rise, Feyman said.
"Insurers will be on the hook without the premiums from young people who aren't making use of the plan," he said.
- Created on 31 October 2013
A Fargo, North Dakota, woman, who has only identified herself as Cheryl, is making a stand against childhood obesity this Halloween by handing out letters to overweight children rather than treats, according to Valleynewslive.com.
Cheryl reportedly called in to Fargo’s Y-94 popular radio morning program to announce how she wanted to pull the coattails of parents whose children are overweight. The woman felt her letter would be a wake-up call to parents since obesity is plaguing a whopping one in three children in this country.
“I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it,” Cheryl contends as she defended her seemingly bizarre tactic on the air.
According to North Dakota State University Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Katie Gordon, who spoke to Valleynewslive.com, though, the unsolicited letters could do more harm than good. In fact, Dr. Gordon feels the letter could be detrimental to children psychologically and that weight matters should be addressed solely by the child’s parents and pediatrician.
“It’s just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they’re vulnerable, might trigger major problems,” Dr. Gordon says. “That’s not something that someone can judge — the health of someone — just by looking at them. I think that’s the main thing. Even if a child is overweight, they might be very healthy because of what they eat and how they exercise. It’s ineffective anyway because it’s not likely to help the kid.”
- Created on 31 October 2013
By Rob White
It's wise to understand that, in every moment, you are about as happy as you assume it's your right to be. And, it's profoundly relieving when you trust that it's your birthright to be happy and enjoy life.
If, right now, you were to rate your life by laughter, where would you place yourself on a scale of one to 10? If you find that you're living lower than eight on the Happiness Scale, it's important to accept the fact that only one person can help elevate your attitude -- and that person is you.
When you catch yourself wandering down an alley where dark thoughts exist, you always have the power to flip the switch and turn on the light. You flip the switch by looking beyond "the imperfections of life." Where your attention goes, your feelings flow. Click here to see a list of five tips to help you look beyond the imperfections and turn on the light.
- Created on 30 October 2013
It looks like having a big butt and wide hips has more advantages than we thought!
A new study by the University of Oxford uncovers evidence that curvaceous women are more intelligent and most resistant to chronic illnesses. According to results, ladies with bigger backsides have lower levels of cholesterol, less heart problems and are less likely to get diabetes.
Scientists at Oxford argue that fat from the lower body produces “hormones that help to better metabolize sugars and other lipids, unlike abdominal fat secretes hormones with the opposite effect.”
Professor Konstantinos Manolopoulos, who leads the team at the University of Oxford, says that women with more fat on the buttocks have lower levels of cholesterol and glucose. Having a big butt also favors leptin levels in the female body, leptin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating the weight, and the dinopectina, hormone with anti-inflammatory, vascular-protective and anti-diabetic.
The adipose tissue of the buttocks big traps harmful fatty particles and prevent cardiovascular disease. Other interesting results of these investigations were apparently the children born to women with wider hips are intellectually superior to the children of mothers with “few hips”.
Similar studies conducted by the universities of California and Pittsburgh found that women with larger butts, wider hips and smaller waists may be smarter, too.