June 4 2014

More ObamaCare Premium Hikes

Patrice J. Lee

Remember the claim that ObamaCare would lower costs for Americans? That is yet another broken promise of the President’s signature health care reform plan.

Last week we reported that two early states have posted premium rate increases for 2015. Several more states are adding their numbers for ObamaCare plans and the situation doesn’t look good for residents in those states. Vermont, Connecticut, and Arizona customers will be paying higher premiums by one and two digits increases.

In Vermont, insurers are upping premiums for ObamaCare customers from as little as 5.6 percent for the lowest-quality coverage, high-deductible bronze plan to as high as an 18-percent increase for one insurer’s silver plan — the most popular health plan type nationally.

Connecticut only has three insurers participating in its exchange. Two insurers requested double-digit rate increases (12.5 percent and 11.8 percent,) while the third, HealthyCT, actually proposed an 8.9 percent decrease. With a small membership pool of just 7,200 members and in the first year of operation, Healthy CT has no claims experience to base its rates on. It will also do some creative accounting by spreading out administrative expenses and fees over three years instead of one year. All of these contribute to their proposed lower rates for next year. We’ll see what happens in a few years.

Out in the southwest, things are more drastic. In Arizona, Cigna and Humana, two top insurers in the state, proposed average premium hikes of 14.4 percent and 25.5 percent, respectively.

The Daily Caller has more:

Overall, the track record for the Obama administration on Obamacare premiums is dismal, despite President Obama’s promise to lower premiums by $2,500 annually for the average family. In addition to the hikes released Tuesday, Virginia, Washington, Indiana and Ohio state officials have admitted that Obamacare customers in their states will be hit with cost increases in order to maintain their now-mandatory health coverage.

The increases are likely to make it even more difficult for Obamacare exchanges to maintain their newly enrolled customers.

The Administration claimed victory following the end of the first enrollment period two months ago, but the story is not done. In fact, as healthcare costs for enrollees in ObamaCare continue to rise, we may see the opposite—people cancelling their plans or neglecting to pay them. For low-income enrollees, this is especially true. Apart from added taxpayer subsidies, they will struggle to meet these new obligations.

Interestingly, Dr. Delos Cosgrove, an early name floated as a replacement to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, admitted that costs would rise under ObamaCare. Furthermore, he predicted that in the next decade, the U.S. would move to a single-payer system with about 75 percent of healthcare costs being paid for by the government (i.e. taxpayers). He noted that employers are doing the math and will slowly abandon providing healthcare to their workers (finding it cheaper to pay the federal penalty).

This is what some progressives wanted from the start – a government-run healthcare plan. While they wanted to mandate all Americans onto government-sponsored plans, it may very well happen once employers stop providing coverage to their workers causing the employer-sponsored market to collapse.

If you thought ObamaCare is a done deal, just wait. The impacts are just beginning.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus