Spare Me the Pity for the Insurers, Cont.

by Rich Lowry

It is supposed to be a bad idea to get insurers to keep people on their current plans because it will cost the insurers money. And the insurers can’t spare any of that — because they need to spend it on promoting Obamacare (even if they don’​t call it that). From Politico:

Big insurers and the stock analysts that track them say that once the White House is sure its enrollment website is working, the companies will barrage the airwaves with messages encouraging people to join new health insurance exchanges, either by signing up directly with insurers or by giving the website another shot . . .

Already Kaiser Permanente has sent a letter to potential customers in the Washington area, touting the availability of federal subsidies and mentioning specific benefits and coverage options for “hassle-free coverage that won’t let you down.”

But the letter makes no mention of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act or President Barack Obama. “If you need help paying for health care, you may qualify for federal financial assistance when you enroll in a plan offered in the marketplace,” it says, giving a toll-free number.

WellPoint, the largest insurer within the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, has earmarked $150 million for “exchange-related activities” that include marketing to customers, a company spokeswoman said. The timetable for spending will depend on “the pace of overall exchange readiness — and tenor of consumer sentiment,” she said.

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