June 13 2016
One News Now
featuring Hadley Heath
An expert on health policy says premium increases for ObamaCare plans may lead to shock and awe for some. But others? Not so much.
Some insurers have been losing money on ObamaCare exchanges for a variety of reasons, including less-than-stellar enrollment, a smaller number of younger, healthier people compared to older, less healthy enrollees, and insurance companies setting premiums too low in the beginning. Regardless, premiums are expected to be much higher for the enrollment period beginning this November.
"At least in a dozen states there have been double-digit rate proposals," says Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum (IWF).
Many states are just at the point now where health insurance companies submit a request for a rate increase, then state regulators have an opportunity to negotiate that rate increase down or to tell the health insurance company, 'No, you can't create a premium increase that's that high.' Still, Manning points out that there are rate increases that can take your breath away.
"I noticed Kansas had some insurers filing rate increases of 49 percent," she reports. "Different states like Connecticut, Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, and Delaware -- all of these states are seeing insurers asking for significant rate hikes, many of them in the double digits."
While she acknowledges it is outrageous, Manning concludes that this is really no surprise, especially to individuals, think tanks, and industry groups that have warned about it for years.