Obamacare plans will rise tremendously this year. Even the rates that will be sold off on commercial health plans will spike. At least ten states will be hit by inflation rates in the double digits. There will be several states in for a rude awakening. South Dakota, Delaware, and West Virginia will be seeing a 10% increase in their rates, according to Agile HealthInsurance. They also discovered that about 7% of Obamacare plans added on Healthcare.gov were asking for 14-30% rate increases.
CareFirst Blue Cross of Maryland plans to increase their PPO plans by 34% and their HMO plans by 26%. They have an 80% market share in the Obamacare exchange portal, where only 30% of the people who’re eligible sign up for the exchange.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee expects 70% of the Obamacare exchange plans to have a 36% increase in rates, while Humana, the second largest competitor, will produce a 16% increase. In Michigan, where 45% of the market is enrolled, will increase their plans 9-13%. In Vermont, where there are about 75% of people in the Obamacare, their increase will range from 4-15%.
In Connecticut, Anthem is the largest insurer on the Obamacare exchange and 45% of the population signed with them. Their plans will increase an average of 6.5%. The next big competitor, ConnectiCare wants a 25% increase for their existing exchange plans.
There are about 30% of people in Washington state who signed up with the largest healthcare provider in the area. Primera Blue Cross plans to increase rates by 10%. Various other large providers are deciding to do away with their previous plans. Coordinated Care has a 13% share, Lifewise has a 17% share, and Regence has a 16% share. Most companies will raise their prices anywhere from 10-20%.
Although Obama promised his citizens that the Affordable Care Act would be able to stunt rising healthcare costs, even reverse them, none of this is happening. These steep price increases for 2016 is said to be the more accurate cost of covering millions of people.
Sam Gibbs, Director of Agile Health Insurance, stated that insurers felt pressed to keep rates low during the first year of Obamacare. They believed it was an incentive to gain market share on new exchanges. Everything was fresh and just starting out, so there was not enough information as to how buyers would take advantage of the benefits versus the cost.
In as little as a year, insurers claim to have better information concerning healthcare utilization. They are also aware that a few financial shock absorbers built into the Affordable Care Act planned to decrease their probable losses that expire in 2017. There is bound to be more increases in the years to come.
Many of these insurers were unaware of the type of increases their competition plans as they prepare for rate changes as well. There need to be enough healthy individuals that sign up for these plans, especially because there are more sick people than suspected that are signing up for healthcare.
The Obama Administration is aware of the changes and is attempting to change the minds of the state regulators who have the power to review and lower rates. There was a letter delivered to state commissioners that stated that increasing tax penalties for those who don’t purchase health plans would be a better route to go. It will help motivate people who aren’t insured to enroll even when they may not have a high need for health care coverage.
In the states where increases were cut like New York, industry groups are starting to compete. Their rate increase dropped to 7% from the original 10%, and they state the decreases left them to suffer financially.
A large percentage of people with insurance are also getting subsidies. It means that a good chunk of the rise in rates will be carried over to taxpayers, not the plan holders. Plans are available to those with low to moderate income.
Federal officials that are accountable for overseeing Obamacare mention that although there will be increases, people still have power and are in control of obtaining a plan that will fit them at a reasonable price. Officials say that individuals can continue to do what they probably have always done: shop around for the best plans.
Nevertheless, alternating from one plan to another too often may be a headache and a hindrance for people. Some people are happy with their plans but now may have to change plans and risk losing a doctor or medical professional they wanted to keep. President Obama was the one who told the public he was aware how important it was to people to maintain their doctors and plans when he was in the opening stages of selling Obamacare. It is understandable if prices go up slightly to keep companies running. However, it is unclear how much is truth and how much of their statements are opinions. Companies are also in the business of profit. How are we to truly know if the price increases are nothing more than additional money in their pockets?