Obamacare and Insurance Benefit Mandates: Raising Premiums and Reducing Patient Choice | The Heritage Foundation


There are too many benefit mandates that people do not need or want, driving up the costs of premiums.   This limits the freedom of individuals and families to design a health care plan specific for their needs.  This is inherently the problem with Obamacare and “universal healthcare.”

A set of provisions included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)[1] gives the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sweeping new powers to impose a wide range of detailed benefit requirements on employer-sponsored health plans and major medical policies sold by health insurers. This will effectively make all health insurance benefits uniform—depriving patients of choices—increase the cost of coverage for tens of millions of Americans, and stifle insurance innovation.

The new federal benefit requirements represent a blatant assertion that Congress and federal bureaucrats know best how to design health insurance policies. The effects will be one-size-fits-all coverage—so that patients are not “confused” by having choices—and elimination of employers’ freedom to design their own self-insured plans. It also extends an open invitation to medical providers to lobby Congress and HHS to incessantly expand the “essential benefits.” The more benefits providers are able to have deemed “essential,” the more insurers, employers, and patients will have to pay for these services. The result will be higher premiums for tens of millions of Americans…

An Invitation to Special-Interest Lobbying. As experience with insurance benefit mandates at the state level shows, providers and patient groups can be expected to exert pressure on HHS and Congress to expand the scope of the federal minimum coverage requirements. To the extent that HHS or Congress bows to that political pressure, health insurance premiums will escalate still further after 2014.

Source: Obamacare and Insurance Benefit Mandates: Raising Premiums and Reducing Patient Choice | The Heritage Foundation