THE KAISER FOUNDATION estimates that 16 million insurance policyholders will receive $1.3 billion in rebates.
If insider Mark Halperin is writing positively about ACA, you know something is about to hit.
But the rebate provision of the law — the fruits of the so-called “80/20 rule” — is about to kick in big time, as millions of Americans receive rebate checks or premium reductions from insurance companies who have failed to spend enough on patient care. This cash could be a true game changer in public attitudes about whether the law actually is beneficial and good public policy. The rebate provision of the law has been known and discussed in health care policy circles for months, but has largely flown below the radar in the political world and for voters—until now.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explains the measure in a Friday blog post on the department website: “You can be sure that insurance companies are spending generally at least 80 cents of every dollar you pay in premiums on your health care or activities that improve health care quality,” she writes. “If the insurance company fails to meet this standard, or the ‘medical loss ratio,’ in any year, they have to pay you a rebate.”
It’s an important part of the goody package in Obama’s health care plan that was needed a long time ago to form a buttress against the negative talking points that have already built up in many minds.
Better late than never and in an election year that can be enough.
Now we wait for what the Supreme Court decides next month.