Blog

What our customers are saying…








Thank you so much for helping me get my insurance so quickly. I appreciate all of your help. I will definitely recommend you to my fellow classmates.
— Dave
Mr. Higgins explained in ways that I can understand. His compassion was unequal!
— Roxanne,
Thanks, Michael, I truly appreciate your prompt assistance…
— Laura
Thank you. This is helpful and I appreciate your time and assistance.
— Rick,
I was glad that you answered the phone. I know I made a good choice choosing you as my broker and applying with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. The more I think about it, the more I want to be with a company that has widespread recognition and is everywhere. So thanks again for everything!
— Liza,
“Hi Mike,
…my mother lives in Texas, but I thought I would ask you (a question about health insurance,) since the
comments about you on the website were heartfelt.

Thank you.

-L.M.
Houston, TX
— Rick,

“Mike,

You have provided professional & friendly guidance to our family for so many years and I hope you know how much we appreciate your help!!

Sincerely,

Charlotte”

Health Insurance Death Spiral


Many are concerned that if the plaintiff in King v. Burwell succeeds in ending subsidies in 37 states, a win will trigger a death spiral in the health insurance market.

Not to worry, win or lose, the spiral has already begun.

A death spiral begins when insurance companies raise premiums to the point where healthy policyholders drop coverage due to cost, leaving sicklier policyholders in the risk pool. This forces another rate increase resulting in more and more individuals dropping coverage, continuing to the point where only those with the most serious medical conditions are insured.

It has happened before. A handful of states back in the 90’s forced insurance companies to insure all that applied, charging everyone the same rate. Healthy people in those states quickly learned that dropping their coverage until it was needed was one way to keep food on the table. Within a decade the average family policy cost $3800 a month in those states, 40% of all individuals dropping their coverage.

As was the case with the handful of states in the 90’s, the Affordable Care Act forces every state to issue coverage to all that apply, and charge the same premium for each class. The individual mandate forces everyone to buy, or risk a comparatively small penalty for going uninsured.

A healthy insurance market needs 40% of all insured to be young and healthy. Today’s market, five years into the grand experiment known as the ACA, has 28% participation. Worse yet, in 2017 two insurance company bailout programs built into the PPACA end. Premium rates have already increased by 41% on average in 2014, and huge increases are on the way again in 2017 when the bailouts end.

The death spiral began in 2014, and will speed up in late 2016, whether subsidies end this year or not.

0 Comments

Posted by:
Michael Higgins

Posted on:
March 28th, 2015

Posted in:

Millions To Lose Group Coverage


The CBO, (Congressional Budget Office,) recently released a report stating that 9 million people will lose their group health insurance coverage in the next two years, (2 million in 2015, 7 million in 2016 when the employer mandate fully kicks in.) Half of those that lose coverage will enroll in ACA Marketplace plans, receiving a subsidy, the other half will be uninsured. The number of uninsured in America will remain at 31 million through 2025.

The Affordable Care Act will run a deficit of $76 billion this year, and $109 billion next year, according to the CBO. The program will continue to run deficits each year through 2025, with total debt reaching $1.35 trillion. The ACA was to be deficit neutral.

0 Comments

Posted by:
Michael Higgins

Posted on:
January 29th, 2015

Posted in:

ACA Simply Not Working


A recent survey found that the uninsured rate in America fell from about 16% to 13% in the last quarter of 2014. For some, this is proof-positive that Obamacare is working, but nothing is ever so cut and dry.

The unemployment rate is slowly ticking downward, and since most insured obtain their health insurance through an employer, certainly this accounts for a portion of the decline in the uninsured rate. On the other hand, the Affordable Care Act must be credited with helping reduce the uninsured rate as well. The ACA is heavily subsidized, and human nature dictates that when you heavily subsidize something, more of the product is sold.

The main problem though is that saying that more people are, “insured,” does not mean that more people have access to care. 60% of the newly insured are enrolled in Medicaid, not private insurance plans like those offered through an employer or purchased individually.

Medicaid reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals were increased for two years as part of the ACA to increase physician participation, but those rates have been cut by as much as 47%, effective 01/01/2015. Cut someone’s pay by half and chances are they may not want you as a client. As a result, the number of physicians accepting Medicaid patients continues to drop in large numbers. Less doctors, 20 million more patients, equals a crisis that will only get worse. If you have Medicaid, you are six times more likely to be denied an appointment as a new patient than those with private insurance such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona. If you are lucky enough to get an appointment while on Medicaid, (AHCCCS in Arizona,) the average wait time is 42 days, which is double that of a private plan. And the news gets worse for Medicaid patients. The Inspector General of HHS recently sent out undercover agents posing as patients to doctor’s offices listed as participating providers in Medicaid. Over 50% of those listed were not at the address in the directory. Others were found but were not participating, while others were not accepting new patients. When the inspectors were able to set an appointment, wait times were a major issue. 28% of the appointments required a wait time of more than a month, and 10% more than two months.

Being covered is not the same as receiving care, and things will only get worse as more and more physicians and hospitals stop accepting Medicaid patients, and to a much lesser extent private plans, opting instead to offer concierge services.

0 Comments

Posted by:
Michael Higgins

Posted on:
January 16th, 2015

Posted in:

Obamacare Troubles In 2015


King v. Burwell has dominated the news recently, a lawsuit challenging the legality of the IRS decision to issue subsidies in all exchanges, whether federal or state. A Supreme Court decision by June of 2015 is expected, and a win for King would certainly deal a severe blow to the law. But there are two other challenges to the law which are much more serious.

Coons v. Lew and Sissel v. HHS may both make it to the Supreme Court in 2015, Sissel posing the most serious challenge to the Affordable Care Act than any challenge before. Coons deals with the Independent Payment Advisory Board,  (IPAB,) which plaintiff states violates the separations of power act. The Affordable Care Act could survive, somewhat, if both King and Coons win. But if Sissel wins, that is the end of Obamacare. Sissel deals with the Origination Clause of the Constitution, and a win for Sissel will invalidate the entire PPACA. Because the PPACA, (and all the taxes included in the law,) originated in the Senate, Sissel states that it violates the Originations Clause of the constitution.

2015 will be a tough year for Obamacare, and it is imperative that those receiving subsidies understand that those subsidies may end in the next several months.

0 Comments

Posted by:
Michael Higgins

Posted on:
December 29th, 2014

Posted in: