First Spike In Use Of Obamacare Expected Next Week

And here’s where the 1971 Ford Pinto meets the road

(The Hill) The number of people seeking to use their new ObamaCare coverage for the first time is expected to spike next week.

Representatives from healthcare companies, trade groups, and the Obama administration told The Hill that many who obtained new coverage under the law are using this week to learn about their plans and set up preliminary appointments.

They’re expected to turn out in force at the nation’s clinics and hospitals as early as next Monday.

“We are anticipating a surge in activity beginning next week,” said Markeisha Marshall, a spokesperson for Walgreens, the country’s largest pharmacy.

The article notes two worries

The first is that a sizable number of consumers who show up at the doctor’s office will discover that they don’t have the insurance they thought they purchased.

A second is that people have enrolled in ObamaCare, but have to make a payment. Some will discover they don’t have the insurance they thought they purchased as a result .

For the second, The Hill seems to be hinting at the notion that people with Obamacare insurance will have to pay through the nose until they reach their deductible limit. As to the first, even bigger is the notion that people will show up at the doctors office and realize that they do not actually have insurance yet, because they haven’t submitted their premium payment, the insurance company hasn’t received the information from the Exchange, or both.

Keith Dailey, a spokesperson for Kroger, said early January is always a complicated time for the industry because they historically see a “surge of customers with new insurance the first month of every year.”

And here’s the rub: the people who obtain and immediately use new health insurance are typically people who are sick. Sure, some are simply getting a long-overdue physical, but this new insurance is about Obamacare, and if there is a massive spike of people heading to medical facilities, especially hospitals and urgent care, this could show how many people have signed up who are sick.

Let’s also not forget that seemingly the majority of people who looked to get health insurance were put on Medicaid, which causes an increase in emergency room usage. Which drastically increases costs.

Elsewhere, Jammie Wearing Fools notes that no small business can point to reduced insurance costs in New York. The Lonely Conservative shows that one hospital can’t make payroll thanks to the new Medicare payment facilitator, which was handed the contract through a no-bid process.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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