Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Americans unlucky enough to have to buy insurance through an Obama-Care exchange are increasingly finding their choices limited to highly restrictive and unpopular HMO plans. This isn't by accident. Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/010416-788013-obamacare-is-forcing-more-people-into-hmo-plans.htm#ixzz3wL7aUypX Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

...For a while, the government's promotional efforts seemed to work, and by 1996 HMOs accounted for almost a third of the employer market.
But then horror stories of limited networks, bureaucratic hassles and care denials spread, and by 2014 the HMO market share plunged to 13%.

Over those same years, PPOs — preferred provider organizations — took off. These plans offer better coverage if you stay in network, but still provide benefits for out-of-network doctors. Consumers get to choose and pay the difference.

Since 2005, when Republicans made them possible over stiff Democratic opposition, consumer-driven health savings account plans exploded in popularity.
These offer even more consumer freedom.

In exchange for taking a low-cost, high-deductible plan, consumers can put money aside, tax-free, in HSA accounts to pay out-of-pocket costs.
Today, HSAs enroll more than 17 million Americans and have nearly $3 billion in assets.

And they've been credited with holding down health spending nationwide.

Democrats, however, loathe the idea of free people spending their own money and making their own decisions, and ObamaCare is slowly shoving them back into the HMO plans most don't want.

In today's ObamaCare exchanges, PPO plans are an endangered species. Those enrolling in Houston last year had a choice of 19 PPOs; this year, they have none....