New Yorkers Notified of Impending Obamacare Premium Hikes

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 06:20 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Residents in Rochester, New York, have received letters from their insurance provider MVP telling them that their premiums could be going up by as much as 22 percent, WHEC TV reported.

"I was led to believe that the price would be one thing, for a service that would be one thing, and not even six months down the road its changed," said consumer Michelle Vergilia.

Many of those getting letters announcing rate hikes had enrolled through New York's Obamacare exchange.

Georganne Chapin, a spokeswoman for Vergilia's health insurer, MVP, told News10NBC, "What we hope to see is some kind of reduction in the rate of increase, but healthcare costs continue to go up for MVP and for everybody else. Very unfortunately for consumers."

In New York City, some consumers can expect to be hit by hikes of as much as 28 percent next year. Insurers say the rise is needed because they are serving an older demographic, that medical costs in the area are higher than elsewhere, medications are getting more costly and the amount of available federal money for health is shrinking, The New York Times reported.

The New York State Department of Financial Services, which regulates insurers, will soon decide how high insurance rates can go. In response to her complaint, the agency told Vergilia that it "shares your concern over the magnitude of the premium increase" and that MVP's request was being studied.

If rates did not go up sufficiently "the insurer's ability to pay claims as they come due" could be imperiled, the agency said, WHEC reported.

All 41 New York insurance companies have asked for rate increases averaging 14.6 percent. In 2013, 16 of them participated in the state's health exchange, according to Capital New York.

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