An Unintended Consequence

The health coverage plan providers, companies like Humana, Aetna, Anthem, et al., are gaming the Medicare system to keep their Medicare bonuses coming in.  Surprise.

It seems that when Obamacare was passed, it included a system of paying bonuses from Medicare to those plan providers that got sufficiently high ratings on the quality of their plans.

But wait….

Medicare ranks privately managed plans…on a five-star quality scale and provides financial bonuses to providers of top-ranked plans. [A plan-holder’s] plan was set to be downgraded, which would have cost Humana its bonus. So the company merged plans covering [the plan-holder] and more than a million others into different contracts with higher scores. That preserved the bonuses.

That’s called cross-walking, and it’s entirely legal, if maybe a tad shady.

This is the sort of thing that happens, though, when Government intrudes itself too far into a marketplace.  Private enterprise is more agile than government bureaucracies can ever hope to be, and they can move much faster than any government bureaucracy can hope to do.

It’s also why black markets flourish in centrally planned economies.

The existence of this ability to cross-walk is a function of our Federal government’s intervention in what should be a free, competitive market.  The question wouldn’t even exist if we had an actual health insurance industry that operated free of Government fetters in an actual freely competitive market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *