Minneapolis – St. Paul Rank Top Among 10 Cheapest Cities for Obamacare Premiums, Says Kaiser Health News

by | Last updated Dec 8, 2023 | Published on Mar 21, 2014 | Healthcare News

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Kaiser Health News (KHN) published the list of the 10 cheapest cities for Obamacare premiums in February 2014. Minneapolis – St. Paul, the Twin Cities ranked first with a premium cost of $154. The ranking was based on the lowest-cost silver premium (the mid-range plan chosen by most consumers) for a 40-year old individual. As per KHN, the premium rates in these less expensive areas are half or less than half of the charges in most expensive places. Variation in Obamacare premiums depending on the place where the beneficiary lives is critical for both common people and healthcare providers. If this questions the affordability of an individual who is planning to enroll into a state exchange plan, it will impact the revenue of healthcare providers. This ranking gives a clear picture regarding the rapport between hospitals and doctors in less expensive areas.

The premium cost of $154 in the Twin Cities is for a particular state exchange insurance plan. According to KHN, the same plan with a different insurer and other doctors and hospitals across the Wisconsin border may cost nearly three times than that in the Twin Cities. Insurers could negotiate low rates with hospitals and doctors in these regions because they could select from four major health care systems. The hospitals and physicians in this region are aligned with four major hospital systems, Allina, Fairview, HealthPartners and HealthEast which employ most of the primary care physicians in this area. As per a health economist at the University of Minnesota, Fairview and Allina are in the frontline experimenting with more efficient ways to improve the quality of care (for example, accountable care organizations).

The scenario in other lowest cost areas such as Salt Lake City region and Hawaii is not much different. The major hospitals and health systems in these regions have been on a mission to implement integrated care in which rules, payment methods and administration are designed in such a way as to enhance the collaboration of primary care doctors, specialists and nurses. A robust competition between hospitals and doctors is there in the cheaper cost regions which allow the insurers to swing towards lower rates. Most of the doctors in these regions work on salary instead of being paid by procedure, which weakens the financial incentive to carry out more procedures.

Since the healthcare system in these areas mainly focus on organizing patient care instead of allowing specialists to work independently, it is quite challenging for them to manage their revenue cycle and receive good reimbursements. A professional medical billing and coding company can help physicians in such a situation with the services of a dedicated and efficient revenue cycle management team to handle their medical billing requirements.

Natalie Tornese

Holding a CPC certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), Natalie is a seasoned professional actively managing medical billing, medical coding, verification, and authorization services at OSI.

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