New York Insurers Seek Double Digit Increases for Obamacare Plans

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 11:23 AM

By John Blosser

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New York state insurance firms participating in Obamacare health programs are seeking increases in patient premiums of from 12 percent to nearly 20 percent, the New York Post reported.

MVP Health Plan, with 33,000 New York customers, wants a 19 percent increase in premiums, while Excellus Health Plan, with 24,000 customers, seeks to raise rates by 19.7 percent, the Post reported.

UnitedHealthCare in Rye, New York, is asking for a 12.5 percent increase in small group plans and a 2.4 per cent decrease in individual plans.

The overall rate increase sought by insurers is 13.2 percent, the Post said.

Maria Gordon Shydlo, United spokeswoman, told the Post that anticipated increases in healthcare costs are driving the insurance companies’ desire to increase rates. "Our goal in pricing is to match expected medical spending – including medical costs, utilization and mandated coverage – with premiums. Other factors include plan design and new taxes and fees."

The double-digit increase requests are not unexpected – the American Health Policy Institute has estimated that costs of insuring employees under Obamacare will soar from $4,800 to $5,900 per employee, costing employers from $163 million and $200 million in 2016.

The insurance companies’ requests must be submitted for approval to New York’s Department of Financial Services, and superintendent Ben Lawsky told the Post, "We are going to scrutinize these rate requests very closely in order to protect New Yorkers and ensure they are not subject to any unjustified rate increases."

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