Im not saying they would actually sit down and have a meeting about it; I think that's called price fixing and is illegal. But I think that when companies know they sort of have you over a barrel, the rules of competition don't always apply. An example of this is the rates that Visa and MasterCard charge merchants to be able to accept their their cards from customers. I doubt they're "colluding", but they know that even though merchants are ALLOWED to say "I will take Visa but not MasterCard" because of the cost involved, no merchant is actually going to do that because that means turning away customers. So the result is that whenever one raises the prices, the other does too because they know they can get away with it. I think to a certain extent, that's a possibility here too since they know that people can't simply opt to not have insurance. They may not go up to the full extra 50%, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them set a fairly high "going rate" because they can.
All of this is why I don't think that for profit insurance companies in combination with the "free market" is actually a great solution for our healthcare woes. The free market is more complicated than simple supply and demand and whoever has the best price wins.
Well not all insurance is for profit either. My company isn't. Nobody makes more for denying claims or for raising rates and all premium increases have to be approved by our DOI. Just because it is allowed doesn't mean it will happen. There are checks and balances that private insurers have to go through.
I'm a much bigger fan of the not for profit insurance company model, if that makes you feel any better. I think for profit insurance companies are proof of true evil in the world, but I take a much much softer stance on insurance companies that are simply covering their operating costs. I would be a much bigger fan of Obamacare if they got rid of the for profit companies and stuck with companies like yours.
Me too . hahaha. More business for us.
But with NHCR...remember companies *have* to show that they are using a certain percentage of their premium dollars to cover claims. I don't know the exact percentage off hand...88%, 90%...so that will help reel in a lot of what for profit companies charge and puts their claim payment policies under the spotlight.
*forgot to say earlier....as usual, all the things I say here are my thoughts and not the thoughts of my employer"
Mama to 5 Honey Bunnies