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Checks come as surprise under 'Obamacare'
Connie Kadansky recently received a $79 rebate check from her Arizona health insurance company.
July 27th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

Checks come as surprise under 'Obamacare'

Your check really might be in the mail.

By August 1, health insurance companies have to refund $1.1 billion in premiums to about 12.8 million customers, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

The "80/20 rule" in the ACA mandates that health insurers spend at least 80% of their customers' premiums on health services, leaving no more than 20% for administrative costs and advertising. That means if an insurance company spends 78% of the money it collects on health benefits for customers, it has to send rebate checks for the additional 2%.

"The 80/20 rule in the Affordable Care Act is intended to ensure that consumers get value for their health care dollars," a letter accompanying the refund checks says.

Connie Kadansky recently received a $79 rebate check from her Arizona insurance company due to the rule.

"It was a surprise," says Connie Kadansky, who is self employed. "My insurance agent tells me that my insurance is going to skyrocket. He hates Obamacare. I read the letter and I said to myself, 'So what's wrong with this? This is good.'"

There's no way to know ahead of time if you qualify for a rebate, and although checks average $151 per household, there's a lot of variability. Check size depends on how your insurance company collected and spent premiums over the past year, specifically in your state.

In St. Louis, Rabbi Randy Fleisher received a $2,808 rebate check earlier this month for his synagogue, which pays 100% of the health insurance premiums for its ten full-time employees.

His Central Reform Congregation advocated for the Affordable Care Act and helped start "Missouri Healthcare for All."

"There's no doubt that it's a positive family value for people to have assurance that medical care will be coming to them in a way that's affordable and available, " says Rabbi Fleisher. "When you're sick, when there are health care challenges, that's about as vulnerable as you can get."

Not all rebates will come as checks in the mail. Companies have the option to refund credit cards used to pay premiums, or discount future premiums.

Insurers also decide under the health care law whether to charge customers more money upfront, knowing that they might have to refund that money later.

"The presence of a rebate should not be viewed as a sign that an insurer is deliberately over-charging its customers," says Adam Powell, a healthcare economist who consults for insurance companies.


soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. bam

    wah wah wah I have insurance but the gNOp says I am going to have to pay for insurance even though I have it. ignorant.

    July 27, 2012 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CNN President Resigns

      CNN is a communist propaganda tool of the Democrats and their leader has resigned in disgrace after terrible ratings:

      “CNN needs new thinking,” Walton wrote in a note to staff this morning.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • JOSE-USMC-0311

      PEOPLE WHO DON'T USE THEIR MEDICAL INSURANCE ?? WHY CAN'T THEY GET BACK 1/2 OF WHAT THEY PAID ???

      WE HAVEN'T BEEN TO A DOCTOR–HOSPITAL IN OVER 10 YEARS BUT I PAY $ 350 A MONTH IN INSURANCE. WHY CAN'T HEALTHY PEOPLE GET 50 % OF WHAT THEY PAY EVERY YEAR BACK ?????

      July 27, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • Joe S

      @JOSE...you don't really get the concept of insurance, do you?

      July 27, 2012 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Jose... I didn't file any insurance claim with my car or house insurance company, should I ask for half my premium back?

      BTW, your family needs a booster of tetanus vaccine every 10 years; you should take them see a Doc soon. Also preventive care to diagnose conditions early is a lot cheaper than treating conditions onse they are well established. So you not going to see your Doc annually is actually part of the problem in this country.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Jose, just a friendly (really) note: I recently had a patient whom was very proud that he had not seen a doctor in 20 years. This was unfortunate because we would have caught his tumor much sooner (assuming he saw a competent physician).

      July 27, 2012 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • STOP the Stupidity

      STOP the Obama and Pelosi War against Medical Marijuana Patients – Stop being a hypocrite Barack...!

      July 28, 2012 at 02:09 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      IF you have your insurance through your employer, you should know that they can cancel it at anytime. I can tell you with certainty, that companies that DO cancel insurance policies so that their workers will be shifted to the government plan will save THOUSANDS. Which is cheaper? Make no mistake, what you pay is heavily subsidized by your employer. Should they continue to pay, perhaps $20,000 a year per worker for your insurance OR $2,000 a year penalty for not covering you. YOU decide?? So, YES, your insurance premiums very well could go up.

      July 28, 2012 at 08:57 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Jose, um, the purpose of insurance is to pay premiums long enough to actually cover any expenses you may incur later on. If you pay $350/month, that's $4,200/year. Over 10 years, you have paid $42,000. Now, assuming that none of this goes to admin costs (of course, that's not possible), if you even have one medical condition that exceeds, say $50,000 (more likely than you might think) than you STILL haven't paid for the entire procedure. However, the insurance company will still cover the costs. It's the insurance company that always assumes the risk that you won't need it until you pay enough to cover the costs, not you. Educate yourself.

      July 28, 2012 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
    • g

      i got 42 cents back. yay.

      July 30, 2012 at 02:09 | Report abuse |
    • marcy

      I got a check in the mail for $42.00. SWEET! Every little bit helps....

      July 30, 2012 at 10:16 | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Connie is going to be in for quite a surprise in 2014. She'll know what her insurance agent is talking about. All of the new costs and taxes don't hit until after the election

    July 27, 2012 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Idiot Wind

      Bob,

      You're an id10t. She is insured; she will pay nothing more in 'taxes'. If her provider charges more, she'll just get a larger refund check.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • ACF

      Not at all the case, Idiot (you labeled yourself as such)

      All of the mandated coverages will actually cost money. The price of healthcare goes up around 15% every year and this bill did nothing to address that. (If contraceptives must be paid for by insurance companies without out-of-pocket costs to consumers, as an example, what do you think just happened to the cost?) So costs keep going up. Furthermore, by flattening out the banded-premiums and eliminating underwriting, rates continue to go up.

      Perhaps Connie will qualify for some federal subsidies in her premiums.... but all of these costs come from somewhere... so everyone's taxes will just keep going up. That's not a political statement, it's just a fact. Some people are fine with that. Many are not.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • ladylawyer

      @ Idiot Wind- you may get a slight refund now, but because the healthcare companies have to refund that amount, they're just going to raise the cost of healthcare so they don't loose money aka: we still loose. And, in case you haven't read the recent US Supreme Court opinion regarding Obamacare, it was held to be valid AS A TAX- This is why Bob said taxes won't go up until after the election-Obamacare is a tax.

      July 27, 2012 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • Elspeth

      @ladylawyer – I doubt your name very much, either that or you had help with the Bar. INSURANCE companies, the ones that have to pay the refunds, do not set the price of health care costs, not really. That is controlled by doctors and hospitals and drug manufacturers. What insurance companies do is negotiate for caps on how much they pay to those people. If the insurance companies agree to pay the "health care companies" (which INSURANCE companies are not) more money, then yes the insurance companies would not have to issue refunds...but then the INSURANCE companies still wouldn't get to keep the money themselves to pay their executives bonuses or run outrageously expensive (and annoying) advertising campaigns. Even Kaiser Permanente, Inc., the INSURANCE company, is separate from The Permanente Medical Group (the doctors) and Kaiser Medical Foundation (the hospitals); to keep from having to refund money to rate payers KP, Inc. will have to pay its doctors (TPMG) and its suppliers for KMF more money...it cannot simply pay its CEO and shareholders or hold the money in reserves.

      Yes, rates *might* go up because more services *may* have to be provided. But for insurance companies that are issuing refunds, it is unlikely they are going to be able to justify huge increases because people are going to have the refunds to point to as proof that they didn't spend 80% this year. It is going to be a few years before the insurance companies are going to be able to get away with large increases again (probably not until 2015 or 16 when the individual mandate is in full swing and underwriting rules have been completely revamped) Until then they are going to be stuck with only two to three times the rate of inflation instead of 10 to 20 times like they were doing a couple of years ago.

      July 28, 2012 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      ACF is absolutely correct.

      July 28, 2012 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      NO they will not. You lie!

      July 30, 2012 at 11:39 | Report abuse |
  3. Brian

    Outrageous! A law requiring the health care industry to provide the care that they are advertising?! Preposterous! Repeal and replace!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2012 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bam

      yes where is mittens to repeal romneycare and replace it with romneycare!

      July 27, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Lagos

      Requiring a company to use only 20% of its revenue for a combination of all expenses (property taxes for offices, employee wages, utilities, lawsuits, etc etc etc) and profit couldn't possibly be ridiculous.

      July 29, 2012 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • DJL

      @Lagos: Brian was being sarcastic.

      July 30, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
  4. Snacklefish

    Don't spend it all in one place, Connie.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sarah

    My refund check arrived a few weeks back, it was for $0.76. Yes cents.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. FiveLIters

    So,do you think all of the people who are/were against the ACA will keep their checks,or send them back on matter of principle?

    July 27, 2012 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ellen

      Of course, they'll send the checks back. Just like they are refusing to keep their older children on their policies until age 26.

      NOT!!

      They won't admit that the part of Obamacare that they don't like is the Obama part.

      July 27, 2012 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      No...the people objecting are money grubbing freaks....they won't turn down free money.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  7. lynn

    I got a check from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas for my son't refund (about $70). I also got refund checks from Humana for myself and my husband total about $120. All says are the results of Affordable Care Act. I think the "80/20 rule" is excellent for consumers.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      That check is beans compared to how much your premiums will skyrocket next year...

      July 28, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • kyle

      Bob, that statement is pretty silly since people are commenting on enjoying their returns and increased premiums without any change in payouts to hospitals means they would just get a BIGGER return next year.

      July 29, 2012 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
  8. sacchrainkiss

    I think this is pretty great. So many insurance companies had been running 30-40% on "administrative" costs. Nice to see someone calling them out. I won't get anything (We have Tricare through the military) but I'm glad that others will see some money coming to them.

    July 27, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. ACF

    Isn't it interesting that the timing of this results in millions of people getting checks right as the election season is set to ramp up?

    What if the government mandated that your business only had a 20% operating margin for overhead, salaries, marketing, shareholder profits, compliance (an increasing chunk of this!), and anything else. Whatever you think of the number... the principle is that the government mandated this lid on private businesses.

    (FWIW – most insurance companies were operating around 70% – i.e. 70 cents of every dollar in premium was being paid in claims, so they've tightened their ship).

    July 27, 2012 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • H

      It has nothing to do with the election, ACF. Rebate checks went out last year, too.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • ACF

      No they didn't, H. The MLR requirements went into effect in 2011 so that is the first year for which there are rebates. And the 2011 rebates are what are going out now.

      July 27, 2012 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • Torim

      Most companies do not have to worry about how much overhead because they are not providing a vital necessary function. Utility companies are regulated simply in a similar manner. It's not like they are an ice cream company or a movie company. Health care should not be a luxury and essential health care should not be a for-profit business.

      July 27, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
    • Driftss

      @Torim! YOU AREN'T PAYING FOR HEALTHCARE. YOU ARE BUYING INSURANCE. IF YOU WANTED TO SAVE UP AND ACTUALLY BUY HEALTHCARE W/ UR MONEY..SORRY. OBAMACARE TOOK THAT OPTION AWAY FROM YOU TO LIMIT YOUR PERSONAL USAGE AND ONLY PAY FOR WHAT YOU USE WHEN YOU USE IT.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • Driftss

      @Torim. Don't worry. Soon nothing will be a "for-profit" business in America given the current state of bad political policies, no one wanting to work hard, and the majority wanting to ride off of those that do succeed and not share in the responsibilities. We can all work for the government soon (or all live on welfare) and be a socialist country. Notice how "Hope and Change" and "Forward" give no guidance as to what kind of change we are moving toward????

      July 27, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
    • bam

      YES! obviously the timing on this was setup....
      and the same for the Judicial Decision to uphold it... they are all in each others ears....
      however u need to get foxfacts and the gNOp out of yours.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • ACF

      TORIM - So here's a question or two then:

      * Should auto and homeowners insurance companies be given similar mandates? Keep in mind, most local utilities have a monopoly of sorts, where there are lots of private health insurance companies competing for customers. The "profit" motivation need not be evil - what's the difference in the user experience at an Apple store compared with a DMV. One is after "profit" and one is not. Who is motivated to take care of customers and more carefully think through pricing and product development?

      * The devil, as always, is in the details... here, the definition of "essential" healthcare. Let's follow the auto insurance analogy – should the insurance company (say, Allstate) be required to pay for my oil changes? What about the timing belt I had to replace?

      July 27, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • ACF

      @Bam - Believe it or not, there are those of us out here who are actually thinking conservatives. It's an easy ad hominem to take anyone who disagrees with you and say "Stop listening to Fox or the GOP." I could just as easily say "Stop drinking the koolaid MSNBC and Moveon.org gives you." How productive is that?

      Try dialogue sometime.... though it might disrupt your neat little categories.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
    • JLBM

      In my state as a car owner I am required to have auto insurance. It actually scares me that any state would not require car owners to have auto insurance (I found out from a graduate college that her state didn't require it! She was upset that she was required by law to by insurance here and wanted to know why no one warned her in the acceptance package. I was appalled that anyone would own a car and not have insurance! So if I hit someone I am expecting the government to pay that person's medical bills? Or am I expecting the victim to pay their medical bills? And if someone uninsured hits me, who is paying! When I explained it to her this way she kind of relented that "maybe" it was a good idea to get insurance.) I am also required by my mortgage company to buy home owner's insurance. And if I owned my house and didn't have insurance, if my house burned down I would get nothing. That is the difference here. If I don't buy medical insurance and have a heart attack SOMEONE has to pay or I have to be left for DEAD. Those towns that don't put out a fire unless you pay the fire dept fee, well imagine that for healthcare. Honestly, right now myself as a taxpayer pay for all those bums who don't buy insurance and need medical care and I am sick of it increasing my taxes and my medical costs! Pay your fair share and stop being a bum.

      July 27, 2012 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      @JLBM That is the most reasonable and true statement I have seen on here about healthcare. SOMEONE has to pay for sure and mandatory healthcare IS the way to go or people will just NOT be insured and tax dollars will be how the bills are paid. I FULLY agree and you are absolutely correct.

      July 28, 2012 at 02:25 | Report abuse |
    • bam

      or u can get foxfacts out of your ear......

      July 29, 2012 at 00:16 | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    Another propaganda piece by CNN. The rebate is already priced into insurance plans. It would be similar to getting a 10% increase in your car insurance payment then receiving 3% back as a "rebate".

    July 27, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bam

      yeah CNN only ran this article no other news orgs.....
      any news that shows the gNOp and mittens how romneycare works is propaganda.... shhhhhh we only want articles are lies instead of facts.... mittens was at the Helm when Mass became the FIRST state to allow same s ex marriage... u would think he would run on that.... but he denies ever stepping foot in Mass

      July 27, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
  11. hisgoofiness

    Holding health insurance companies accountable... That wouldn't be right!

    July 27, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alice

      Who will hold the government responsible when you all wise up and see the colossal mistake you are blindly buying into. I bet you have an adjustable rate mortgage too because you couldn't see beyond the initial "great deal."

      July 27, 2012 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • hisgoofiness

      No, Alice. Actually, I just refinanced into a 15 year fixed rate at 3%. By the way, what health insurance company do you work for? (See, people can make awfullly broad assumptions, can't they?)

      July 27, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
  12. Alice

    Don't be so excited to cash that check. How will insurance companies survive and be able to cover expenses if you happen to unlucky to go over your amount in a given year? They will have no reserve to take care of its customers. This paves the way for a single-payer government health care system...Think about the excellent care they already provide...VA care, Medicare, and Medicaid. Are any of those people raving about that system...No. Think about how the government already runs its current business endeavors...in the red...the post office, amtrak, all having to cut corners. Do you want them to cut corners with your health care?

    July 27, 2012 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Torim

      Insurance companies are able predict with amazing accuracy what money will be needed. So, one person or even hundreds of people 'going over' is factored into the operating cost. It math, plain and simple. Yes, our gov't provided services need help. But which is worse: no available care or the basics of health care? Ask the people of Aurora, CO if they would like basic health care. Most of those without insurance, because it is not affordable or available under current laws, will end up with outrageous bills. The bills will be that high simply because it is what hospitals can charge due to complete lack of regulation regarding a necessary service.

      July 27, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • Driftss

      @Torim...If hospitals are making such great money then how come a majority are bankrupt or severely losing money??? Technology and frivolous lawsuits, ridiculous malpractice insurance and forced treatment of those who refuse to pay (and thus whose services are written off completely) make it nearly impossible for hospitals to remain profitable (unlike the insurance companies who benefit under Obamacare).

      July 27, 2012 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
    • Wende

      @Driftss – those hospitals will benefit because all those bills that get written off (making standard hospital care more expensive) will now be paid by people with mandated health insurance. It's a way to stop the downward spiral we've been in of skyrocketing medical costs offset by ever increasing insurance bills.

      July 28, 2012 at 01:47 | Report abuse |
    • Really!!!!!

      Alice perhaps you need to look at the billions of profits that insurance companies make. Don't forget to research the bonuses of the CEO's. I can't believe you would feel sorry for the insurance companies!!! It's about time somebody looked out for us!

      July 30, 2012 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
  13. cj

    Save the checks.. You're going to need that money to pay for healthcare when all this ACA stuff is in place.. People should really educate themselves on what THIS really is... Just because it's named Affordable Health Care act does not mean it's going to be affordable... I agree health care needed an overhaul but this was not the answer... And yes I support Obama.. but not this..

    July 27, 2012 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. hisgoofiness

    Basically what's happening here is that the party is over for the insurance companies, and their days of denying care and charging outrageous premiums and getting fat, dumb and happy at the expense of the insured, whom they "care about so deeply" (crap if I've ever heard it) are coming to an end. I cry crocodile tears for them, and if any of you out there truly think that insurance companies truly care about you, the consumer, God help you.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bo

      I bet you don't HOLD ONE share of any healthcare insurance company in your retirement fund, do you?

      July 27, 2012 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
  15. SCY385

    I think this is great. I pay my premiums every month, but me and my family are pretty healthy. So a lot of times I am paying for the priviledge of paying. If I need its there, but most of the time I don't use it. So why shouldn't I get some of my money back? I wish they would do the same thing with auto insurance. I have no tickets, or accidents on my record. Yet, I don't get any of my money back. AND I do drive a sports car. So I could absolutely get some tickets if I wanted to. But I don't want to pay anymore than I am now. Give me a percentage of my money back for keeping my record clean.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hisgoofiness

      SCY385 – there are some auto insurance companies that do just that – I think All State is one. Not sure. And no, I don't work in the insurance industry at all – no conflict of interest here...

      July 27, 2012 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • JOSE-USMC-0311

      SCY385, MY POINT ABOVE........ MY FAMILY THANK GOD ARE ALSO HEALTHY . WE HAVEN'T SEEN A DOCTOR–HOSPITAL IN OVER 10 YEARS. BUT WE PAY $$ 350 DOLLARS A MONTH. 12 X 350 =$ 4,200 A YEAR. $ 4,200 X 10 = $ 42,000

      July 27, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • ACF

      Honest question: Do you have any idea how much healthcare costs in this country? Try to find the price of getting your appendix out. The numbers I've seen range from $25k – $50k. Look up the price of bypass surgery. Average price in the Southeast U.S. (a couple years ago!) was around $145k. Price of chemo? Smaller numbers - what's the price of an MRI? I dare you to find out.

      If you have one major medical event like that, you'll come out ahead in the health insurance game. Just ask someone without health insurance. It's a shame it's so expensive.... but this bill does NOTHING to address that. It just pins the blame for everything on Big Bad Insurance (and I'm not naive enough to think they're a bunch of cuddly teddy bears, but the problem is not theirs alone).

      July 27, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • bam

      um.....
      When u have insurance and a hospital tries to charge X for doing Y. the insurance tells them the cost of that is W so change it to W. when u dont have insurance they charge u X+FU and u pay.
      so Um.... im sure romneycare has some bite to disallow over charging.

      July 29, 2012 at 00:19 | Report abuse |
  16. imagonner

    79 dollars won't even buy a tank of gas. PT had it right all along "There's a sucker born every minute". Unfortunately we are going to have to pay for this stupidity. bozo is in the house

    July 27, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Boo

      You really are a m o r o n...

      July 27, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • sacchrainkiss

      Really? I can buy almost a month's worth of food for $79. I also don't drive a gas guzzler, so $79 would get me two months worth of gas. It may not be alot of money to you, but it can certainly go far if you're willing to learn how to spend it wisely.

      July 28, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • bam

      only a dolt would see an apple and cry about milk.
      but thank u for that laugh.
      so let us get this straight, u r mad that Mr Bozo passed Romneycare and u want him out and Romneycares creator in?
      the idiocy of bigots still amazes me.
      one other question if Obama is a bozo in your eyes then what was Bush? Palin? and Bachman? einsteins? ah I am sorry u wouldnt know who einstein is....

      July 29, 2012 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
  17. Barbara

    Who cares? I might have broken some ribs few weeks ago but never bothered getting X-rays or anything because my health insurance is so lousy. People are forgoing medical care unless it is absolutely necessary. Maybe this is a good thing. I just look at the check and shake my head.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Preventive care is a lot cheaper than repairing a disaster. Treating a stage-1 cancer is a lot easier, faster, and cheaper than treating at later stages. But if you never go see a Doc, your cancer (or whatever disease) will be diagnosed a lot later than your neighbor who has an annual visit. And your treatment will cost a lot more than your neighbor's, and may not be as effective.

      July 27, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • bibleverse1

      We are a society that does not do a good job of preventative care and that is causing cost to increase. We do a great job at getting oil changes every 3000 miles or cleaning each spring but absolutely lousy about going to the Dr regularly. Get your moneys worth out of insurance pay that copay, get checked out.

      July 27, 2012 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  18. barbara

    $79 dollars is a joke. We got one hundred and something last summer.... out of the over $12,000 we paid for the year. The amount they're giving back is fraction of the interest they've probably made on the money. How much of our premiums go to salaries and BONUSES for the top executives? I recent anyone in the health care ins. industry getting a bonus for doing their job!! And how much do these insurance companies pay for lobbying? The whole thing has got to go! We need a single payer system.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bam

      a joke? the money back is because your insurance company didnt spend your money on taking care of the people that gave it the money.....
      SO explain to me WHY it should be higher? and if the checks are higher WHY would u stay with that insurance company since they are obviously crooks.

      July 29, 2012 at 00:25 | Report abuse |
  19. Jack

    If my company gets a refund, I doubt they'll let the employees know or give us a refund of premiums we put in to help pay for the insurance. The company will keep it all to theirselves, then tell us rates have gone up and we have to pay more.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • juju

      SO True.. Most of us wont see it if we get insureance through our employers

      July 30, 2012 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
  20. Leo

    I got my check out of the blue. I didn't expect it. The check is for $569.51. I was floored. I had to spend a lot on health care over the past couple of years due to a chronic condition, and my premiums are high, but my employer paid most of it. My insurance company is a not-for-profit company that spends OVER 90% of the money it takes in directly on patient care. They've been excellent to me, and are an example of how health insurance companies SHOULD act. They're one of the few non-evil health insurance companies out there. It's Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

    That money they sent me? It covers the remaining tuition I owe on the EMT course I'm starting in August. (I'm heading to paramedic school after that.) It's kinda poetic – my refund will help me take care of patients in the future.

    Still... these checks aren't the answer. We need true Universal Health Care. Anything less is inhumane.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jack

    Sorry, I meant "themselves" not "theirselves."

    July 27, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. J Kelly

    All we hear about are the insurance companies. When is the government going to do something about the charges assessed by the actual doctors, hospitals and clinics? Case in point: I'm on a maintenance drug and every time I need a refill, I have to see the doctor again. When I see the doctor, he asks "how are the meds working?" I tell him "good" and he renews my prescriptions. I'm in his office for less than 10 seconds and the office visit is $110!!!!!!! I realize that doctors/clinics/hospitals have bills/overhead to pay, but come on... $10 for a band-aid and $9 for Kleenex at the hospital?

    July 27, 2012 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. kevinragsdale

    Got mine last week, with a lovely letter explaining it was all due to the Affordable Care Act. Less than 4 months before the election. Perfect timing, I would say, since I don't expect to EVER receive an "80/20" rebate again.

    July 27, 2012 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe S

      So, this is all a conspiracy by the insurance companies to get Obama reelected...

      July 27, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  24. TBC

    We do realize that part of the healthcare problem is ourselves. Lack of nutrition and exercise is causing heart related issues, diabetes, cholesterol, high BP. I believe everyone should have affordable healthcare. But due to laziness, greed, misinformation, we just keep digging ourselves into a deeper hole.

    July 27, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Janice D.

    I see alot twisted and ignorant comments about 'obamacare'. if you are gonna complain about some thing do you research first before you start your stupid rant. OMG! god forbid you have to pay for health insurance! *GASP* ALOT of people in the US pay for insurance. these conspiracys theories sound stupid and baseless. I agree with TBC

    July 27, 2012 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Janice D.

    It makes me sick how people complain so much about stupid things like this. You may feel the need to complain about how much money you have to pay for health insurance and hospital visits but there soooo many poor people in 3rd world countries who have NO MONEY to even complain about. We have hospitals with doctors n nurses and they have none of that! While you all sit and cry and complain about how we have to pay so much for hospital visits and health insurance, poor people in 3rd world countries dont even have the services readly available like we do and dont even have two pennies to even pay for them. You sound like a bunch of spoiled cry babies. If Insurance companies and hospitals are commiting such a crime do some thing about it instead of complaining

    July 27, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Leo

      Did you consider the fact that our complaining IS part of "doing something about it"??? We're attempting to be heard by lawmakers, elected representatives, and the medical industry. How else do you think things will get fixed?

      July 27, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
  27. bibleverse1

    We need to address the lack of preventative care . Most only go to the Dr when it hurts or when we dont feel good. We should try to get people to go regularly. We also must attack FRAUD viciously.

    July 27, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Annia

      I've not been to the Dr. for, oh, I'd say, 6 years now. Yes, I do have insurance through work, but my deductible is 2,500 because my premium is low. Anyway, I don't want to have to file bankruptcy because of my deductible. In the meantime, I do take good care of myself, you know, eat junk food every now and then, but mostly I eat fruits & vegetables & exercise 5 days a week. So far so good. LOL.

      July 27, 2012 at 19:58 | Report abuse |
    • larry5

      Many preventive care procedures will now not be covered under Obamacare approved policies especially for those 55 and over. The same goes for procedures that only improve the quality of life especially if they involve devices like a pacemaker, for example for anyone over 55. There is a "life score" factor used to make these determinations. At 55 the score is zero.

      July 28, 2012 at 08:11 | Report abuse |
  28. coloradom

    Our check was less than $1. Actually, it cost them more to mail us the check than we got for our refund.

    July 27, 2012 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. JCal

    Well .... I currently pay about $6000 per MONTH for lousy insurance for my wife and I. I haven't seen a rebate.

    Our high premiums show what making claims will do to you. About a dozen years ago, our premium was about $500 per month. A few procedures later ( though with high co-pay and deductible, insurance never shelled out much) we got "fast-tracked" for rate increases. We hardly use insurance in the last 5 or 6 years. Once you make a claim you are considered "undesirable" even if the claims stop. Next year I predict our monthly rate will jump to $9500, as I will turn 60. Now who could possibly pay that?

    July 27, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Frank Jimmies

    I got my check. 45 bucks.

    Too bad my premiums went up 15/month after Obamacare started being put into place.

    July 27, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Annia

    Now one can only hope that the auto insurance would do the same. I don't think it's fair for people who had never make any claim for the past 20 years not getting anything in return. It's like giving away money to them for free. Now, I'm not asking for any accident, but come on, some refund enough for down payment for the next vehicle would be nice. One can only dream....sigh :(

    July 27, 2012 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob

      wow, you really have absolutely no concept how insurance is supposed to work, do you? You are getting exactly what you have paid for. A guarantee of payment in the case of accident. It's a product. You bought it and paid for it. No refund is necessary. What, you think your insurance should only count if you have an accident right after buying the insurance? How long do you think insurance companies would stay in business if they had to continually pay out thousands and thousands of dollars for every hundred they receive in premiums? It's obvious you work with your hands for your living and not your head.

      July 28, 2012 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  32. Ken from FL

    You know, I was enjoying the Olympic opening ceremonies until they did their ridiculous tribute to the failed national healthcare system, where women die from breast cancer because they can't be seen in a timely manner. Rebate checks and rationed care, companies dropping insurance programs for their employees, the cost of Obama projected to be much higher than originally forecast – - welcome to the America of government-run healthcare. Ain't it grand?!

    July 27, 2012 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. poopfactory

    We need to eradicate insurance companies and banks altogether.

    July 28, 2012 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • larry5

      You can help to do just that.....vote for Obama.

      July 28, 2012 at 07:59 | Report abuse |
  34. larry5

    Did Obama think of this new campaign idea or did someone help him?

    July 28, 2012 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. K.Mc

    If it's so great, why do politicians and their cronies opt-out? Do they know something we don't?

    July 28, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Rob

    It's funny how there are people on here who believe that if they have never been to the doctor or been in a car accident that they should get all or most of their premiums back as a refund because they "weren't necessary". WOW, does anybody understand how things work?? Do you think that insurance companies assume the risks of paying for claims ONLY on the premiums of people who get into accidents?? They would be out of a business in less than a year. It's called INSURANCE just in CASE you need it, not only when you need it. You buy the product, NO REFUNDS NECESSARY.

    July 28, 2012 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Rob

    @poopfactory, nobody says you HAVE to use insurance companies or banks. If you choose not to, DON'T. You have issues.

    July 28, 2012 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. GRS62

    Connie Kadansky is the big winner here. I just received a check for $3.71, right after receiving another notice from my insurance company saying my premiums were going up again (3rd time this year). A great headline for the president (who I happen to support) but nothing that truly helps stem the rising cost of health care.

    July 28, 2012 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. mGonia

    GOP and Democrate are not working together for any unity like abunch of spoil brates spilt what are as you show for your own party stop playing the American Public for fools Congress and House of Horror grow up has the worst speaker of house the GOP the do nothing party

    July 28, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Scam Alert

    Oh I see, over charge all customers... collect big interest off large pool of money... then send customers back their money these insurance co.'s used to get more free money!! Oopsie... riiiight! We got it, already! It's high time for FINES and FEES given BACK to customers for 'errors' and mistakie-stakes!

    July 28, 2012 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. terry

    Yes, got a refund from Blue Cross and surprise, my premium went up about the same amount per MONTH.

    July 28, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Mark

    I got mine. It was 93 cents. Yes it probably cost my insurance several times more just to send the check.

    July 28, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Mark

    Oh and for my 93 cent refund I got a $51 raise every month to cover all the "free" items now mandated.

    July 28, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. DK

    Private insurance companies are just parasites in the middle. They should be outlawed. Health care is not supposed to be a profit industry, and making it so is a conflict of interest that makes it impossible to provide good care.

    July 29, 2012 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. travis

    My mother has had health insurance her whole life. Now that she is not working and my step father is retired it is paid 100% out of pocket. The cost is about $900 per month! And she got a check for about $1000 from this recently. I don't think a lot of people realize how much healthcare costs our senior citizens and most do not care since it does not affect them in the now. Is Obamacare the right thing? We won't know for awhile but something had to be done sooner or later. At least someone is taking initiative to fix it right or wrong.

    July 29, 2012 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. newenglandfather

    Reblogged this on New England Father and commented:
    An interesting blog on health reform. My feeling is that many people don't completely understand all the benefits associated with the law. Here's a little tidbit of information many may be surprised to know.

    July 29, 2012 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Holly

    I wish that all insurance companies were required to do this. My home owners insurance I have had for 23 years and they just cancelled. I NEVER filed a claim. They should be required to send at least 5 % back to me. They walked away wtih about $46,000 plus of my money. I like this new Health Care. So what if you are forced to buy insurance. You are already forced to buy insurance if you want to drive a car, own a home with a mortgage or live in a flood district. So what is your problem? If you don't buy it you should not be treated at the ER.

    July 29, 2012 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Michele

    State-by-State info on the average check size is here:

    http://www.obamacare.com/content/medical-insurance-rebate-check-amounts-each-state

    July 29, 2012 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Doesn't matter

    Insurance companies may (and probably will) raise their rates but still they will still be at the 80/20 rate, so if you do not use that 80 percent you will get a refund. It sucks up front but you will still get a refund if you don't use it. Smart insurance companies will keep their rates the same to retain customers as appearing to be consumer friendly. Greedy people who will still not go into see the doctor for the preventative check ups will get larger refunds, but may pay the price in their health. Health conscious people will benefit from their preventative visits and may not see as much refund but they will be taking advantage of their insurance and hopefully catch the tumors sooner and potentially live longer, unless you get hit by a truck on your way from the doctors office, then providing you live through that you are covered, all the same. (sorry dark humor). I do agree with capping insurance companies because there is so much mark up for their profit that it is not fair to the consumer. They will do just fine with their 20%. They make millions upon millions every year and they will do just fine on their 20%. Don't worry about them.

    July 30, 2012 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. really!!!!

    Blue Cross' earnings rise 59%

    August 07, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the National Capital Area yesterday reported second-quarter earnings of $7.3 million, up 59 percent from the $4.6 million earned in last year's second quarter.

    July 30, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.