Sticker Shock: Obamacare Rates Hikes Hit Double-digits
Surprise! (But only if you haven’t been paying attention.)
At the beginning of May, I blogged about the looming October Obamacare surprise — seriously nasty rate hikes.
Unfortunately (or fortunately — depending on where you stand) for Democrats, pending rate increase announcements could not come at a worse time. Open enrollment begins the first week of November, just in time for Obamacare and independent health insurance consumers to take their sticker shock to the ballot box.
Last month, the country’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth, announced its withdrawal from several Obamacare exchanges and projected losses of around $650 million this year alone. Other large insurers are eyeing the vacated territory, but none have committed yet.
Insurer complaints are the same — health insurance consumers are sicker and older than their original models predicted, making affordable insurance a virtually impossible offering.
Fastforward to the end of October and sure enough, the Obama administration confirmed double-digit rate hikes for Obamacare consumers.
The AP reported Monday:
Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That’s sure to stoke another “Obamacare” controversy days before a presidential election.
Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.
Moreover, about 1 in 5 consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from, after major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna scaled back their roles.
“Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period,” said Larry Levitt, who tracks the health care law for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
HHS essentially confirmed state-by-state reports that have been coming in for months. Window shopping for plans and premiums is already available through HealthCare.gov.
Administration officials are stressing that subsidies provided under the law, which are designed to rise alongside premiums, will insulate most customers from sticker shock. They add that consumers who are willing to switch to cheaper plans will still be able to find bargains.
“Headline rates are generally rising faster than in previous years,” acknowledged HHS spokesman Kevin Griffis. But he added that for most consumers, “headline rates are not what they pay.”
“Headline rates are not what they pay.” *
*Unless you’re self-employed or purchase your own insurance from an exchange without subsidy.
Flashback to a simpler age — 2010, when Democrats derided Mitt Romney over the suggestion that rate hikes would be inevitable.
Health insurance consumers (like myself) in states like Texas can expect significant rate hikes, up to as high as 58%. Of course that’s on the high end. Texans will experience an average rate hike of a paltry 35%.
Obamacare was a hot ticket issue in the 2014 election that cost the Democrats the Senate majority. Republicans successfully tied incumbent Democrats seeking re-election to the President’s hallmark legislation. News of the upcoming rate hikes might influence down ballot races, but will unlikely affect the top of the ticket, as Hillary has her own awful version of health care reform.
As we’ve said many times before, the law’s disastrous ramifications on health insurance consumers are a feature of Obamacare, not a glitch.
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Healthcare reform is normally presented as meaning lower costs, more options, and greater access. By any reasonable definition, given what we KNOW has happened, repealing Obamacare would constitute healthcare reform. What a Democrat means is single payer. Guess which fix will be implemented.
We have already conducted a decades-long experiment with a US-government run single-payer healthcare system. It’s called The Veteran’s Health Administration (VA) system. It is one of the most corrupt and inept systems anywhere. If you are not aware of it, please read what you can find and talk to Veterans you know. Then ask yourself “given the abject failure that is the VA, what sane person would want more of this?”
The room got real silent a few weeks ago when I proposed that “Liberals are motivated by death”. This is a perfect example of what I was talking about. Of course no liberal is going to come out and admit “I want people to die”, but in every area they push for programs that will eventually kill people and will impoverish them in the mean time: Making health care unaffordable and rationing it…banning DDT…opening our borders to criminals and terrorists…fomenting chaos in the world while at the same time weakening our military…the list goes on. People need to think beyond the range of the moment and look at the ultimate goal of these leftist schemes. In every case, it’s death and destruction.
Obamacare was NEVER about healthcare — it was about control, power and money. And it still is.
Just ask anyone who has tried to use it, or pays the high premiums or is subject to the high deductible.
No health care, just control.
Give up the notion of arguing the healthcare merits. Argue differently to win. The merits argument did not work in 2010.
I’m sure that when you are a rich politician the premiums seem reasonable. Too bad they don’t pay for theirs, its a job perk that they give themselves at our expense. Nice, huh?
This is the reason The One demanded healthcare companies to delay Obamacare before the elections of 2012 and 2014.
The bomb is here and now. Open Enrollment month is bringing lots of shockers to working people everywhere.
And I bet you the people are not happy.
I thought I was going to have surgery on my knee. I wasn’t sure about how I was going to recover, but the biggest worry for me was how I was going to afford it. Fortunately, the specialist said I don’t need surgery – but I have arthritis. Mild, though. But still arthritis. But I don’t envy those who have huge expenses to cover for surgeries. Where are they going to find the money? Our economy is just not going to do it. We are producing practically nothing of real value.
Obamacare has been a killer, in more ways than one.
Very good article right up to this sentence –
News of the upcoming rate hikes might influence down ballot races, but will unlikely affect the top of the ticket, as Hillary has her own awful version of health care reform.
Trump has pledged to repeal and replace ObamaCare. I think this matters.
I guess my question is do the voters know about this? And if they do, do they care enough to vote accordingly?
“Increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states.”
“Moreover, about 1 in 5 consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from.”
Young health people are not enrolling and Obamacare is starting it’s death spiral…………..
The democrats own this fraud and disaster! Not one republican voted for this.
Evan Bayh voted as one of his final senatorial acts before “retirement” was to vote for Obamacare. (Indiana)
Russ Feingold voted for Obamacare. (Wisconsin)
I hope the voters remember the votes!
let’s fix this by voting harder for more free stuff.
The most popular (only heaven knows why) non candidate for President has been blaming republicans for not fixing his administrations signature mistake. Voters probably believe him, hell they elected the liar twice.
And don’t forget Mitt’s 47% of losers on the dole that will vote democrat regardless. Maybe hateful hitlery will share some of her stash after the election……with billionaire democrats.