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The public has recognized that Corporate, Chamber of Commerce Republicans,
and Wall Street Democrats
are the same party, and serve the same constituency,
and it’s NOT THEM.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Man has NO CLUE - McDonald's May Drop Health Plan

Sign outside McDonald's Plaza, one of the four...
WSJ:

McDonald's Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers' health plans as the law ripples through the real world.

Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn't loosen a requirement for "mini-med" plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.

The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.

While many restaurants don't offer health coverage, McDonald's provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald's official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain's insurer won't meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.

McDonald's and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims.Democrats who drafted the health law wanted the requirement to prevent insurers from spending too much on executive salaries, marketing and other costs that they said don't directly help patients.

McDonald's move is the latest indication of possible unintended consequences from the health overhaul. Dozens of companies have taken charges against earnings--totaling more than $1 billion--over a tax change in prescription-drug benefits for retirees.

More recently, insurers have proposed a round of double-digit premium increases and said new coverage mandates in the law are partly to blame. HHS has criticized the proposed increases as unwarranted.

Democrats, looking toward midterm elections in which the health overhaul is an issue, say it already has stopped insurance practices they call abusive, has given rebates to seniors with high out-of-pocket prescription costs and has allowed parents to keep children on their insurance plans until they turn 26.

McDonald's, in a memo to federal officials, said "it would be economically prohibitive for our carrier to continue offering" the mini-med plan unless it got an exemption from the requirement to spend 80% to 85% of premiums on benefits. Officials said McDonald's would probably have to hit the 85% figure, which applies to larger group plans. Its insurer, BCS Insurance Group of Oak Brook Terrace, Ill., declined to comment.

McDonald's didn't disclose what the plan's current medical loss ratio was.

The issue of limited-benefit plans has also hit colleges, which face the same 80-to-85% requirement beginning next year.

"Having to drop our current mini-med offering would represent a huge disruption to our 29,500 participants," said McDonald's memo, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. "It would deny our people this current benefit that positively impacts their lives and protects their health--and would leave many without an affordable, comparably designed alternative until 2014."

The health law expands Medicaid and offers large subsidies to lower-income people to buy coverage, but those provisions don't kick in until 2014.

Federal officials say there's no guarantee they can grant mini-med carriers a waiver. They say the answer may not come by November, when many employers require employees to sign up for the coming year's benefits.

The government is waiting for the association of state insurance commissioners to draft recommendations. The head of the association's health-insurance committee, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, said she doesn't think these types of mini-med plans deserve an exemption.

"If they are sold as comprehensive coverage, we expect them to meet the same [medical-loss ratio] standards as other health plans," she said.


This administration has made a SHAMBLES of everything it has touched which is to say, EVERYTHING. They have NO IDEA what they are doing since they are experimenting with social theories, whose implementation have already failed around the world and throughout history. Yet they persist since the theory must be correct because they have chosen it.

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posted by Epaminondas at permanent link#

3 Comments:

Blogger LL said...

It simply provides the socialists the motivation to go to a single payer system where the government is the insurer. That's where they want to take it anyway. And the workers without insurance? I'm sure Obama laughs and quotes Stalin, "Tovarich, you can't make an omlet without breaking a few eggs."

Thursday, September 30, 2010 3:26:00 pm  
Blogger Will said...

The new rules at issue apply only to fully insured health plans and not those where the employer absorbs the risk and directly pays out medical claims. The rules wouldn't affect Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for instance, because it is self-insured.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 3:49:00 pm  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

My read was that such self pay plans STILL had to document that benefits were a minimum of 80% of premiums.

That's profit fixing.
But suppose you can deliver better care for less?
Suppose you have in house doctors and are a sharp negotiator?

Suppose you do all that and farm out catastrophic insurance .. there are a million ways to handle this

THE ENTIRE THING SUX

Thursday, September 30, 2010 6:35:00 pm  

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