Friday, May 22, 2015

ObamaCare Premium Increases Next Year May Shock You

The top ObamaCare exchange insurers in six states where 2016 rate requests have already been filed are seeking to raise rates an average 18.6% next year.
Early reports range from an alarming 36% hike sought by the dominant insurer in Tennessee, to a hefty 23% average increase requested by Oregon insurers, to a moderate 7.7% average rise proposed in Connecticut.
The very limited data and the possibility that these initial requested rates might change, as they did in a significant way last year, make it hard to draw firm conclusions. But so far it appears that the Congressional Budget Office was on target in projecting a significantly bigger overall increase than in 2015.
The CBO has said it expects ObamaCare exchange premiums to rise an average of 8.5% per year over the next three years. That's partly due to the scheduled phasing-out of temporary government programs to protect insurer bottom lines from high-cost enrollees.
BlueCross Tennessee Wants 36% Hike
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is seeking a 36.3% premium hike for its 165,000 members, comprising 70% of the market, the Tennessean reported. A check of shows that only Humana (NYSE:HUM), which is asking for a 15.8% increase, offers a silver plan in Memphis within 40% of the cheapest BCBS offering.
For anyone who doesn't get subsidies, these increases would deliver a shock. The vast majority who do get subsidies will be shielded from higher premiums because their contribution is a fixed percentage of income, leaving the government to pay the difference.
On Friday, Maryland said that CareFirst is seeking premium hikes of close to 30% for the nearly 80% of exchange members it covers. The No. 2 insurer on the Maryland Health Connection, Kaiser Permanente, proposed a modest 4.8% increase.
In Michigan, where the individual market is dominated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and its Blue Care HMO, insurers want an estimated 9.8% premium hike.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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