Obamacare Insurance Premiums to Soar in Some States

Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 12:37 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Many Americans are facing possibly significant increases in healthcare costs if they buy insurance through state-based exchanges set up under Obamacare.

According to CNN Money, premiums in Florida could more than double — to 58.8 percent — depending on the insurer. Florida premiums are expected to rise an average of 35 percent.

Indiana officials said costs would rise an average of 72 percent, though that figure relates to the cost of care, not actual premiums. Ohio anticipates an average 41 percent premium increase.

"President Obama's big-government healthcare bill was supposed to bend the cost curve down. Instead, the average individual premium payer is out nearly an extra $100 a month," said Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, according to The Morrow County Sentinel.

"That's money that could be going toward retirement, groceries, and their children's higher education; instead it's going to cover President Obama's costly mandates."

Under Obamacare, all Americans must have insurance coverage starting in 2014 or pay a penalty. For those buying their own plans, state insurance exchanges will offer a four-tiered system of plans from which patients can choose.

While every insurer must offer a package of basic benefits and cover all who apply, patients who need additional comprehensive coverage could be forced into more-expensive plans than the ones they're paying for now.

Premium increases, however, may be lower in states that already require insurers to offer basic coverage to all who apply, according to CNN. Premiums there, in fact, could fall.

The Obama administration has cited Department of Health and Human Services data identifying 11 states where premiums will fall or come in lower than expected, CNN reported.

Obamacare advocates say premium increases will be a reflection of people receiving more comprehensive coverage. The law limits next year's out-of-pocket deductibles and co-pays to $6,350.

"A lot of people will get more for their money," Sarah Lueck, senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told CNN. "Even people paying a higher rate will benefit. It will be a big change in most states."

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