Health Insurers Request Higher Rates in Ohio

Thursday, 10 Jan 2013 12:55 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio resident could see larger health insurance costs than ever before this year, with some insurers filing double-digit rate increase requests before several key provisions of Obamacare take effect in 2014.
 
Industry watchers say the new healthcare law will drastically increase some people’s insurance costs rather than making them more affordable, according to the Dayton Daily News. Some in Ohio, could see premium rates increase by 11 percent to nearly 39 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which tracks rate increase requests from around the country.
 
Obamacare requires a review all annual rate hikes of 10 percent or more. The high rate request in Ohio are coming mostly from small group insurers or individual insurance plans.
 
The increases are higher for those groups because large claims can’t be spread among more participants, but insurance experts say insurers are also taking higher future costs into account in their calculations.
 
The rate requests are being reviewed by the Ohio Department of Insurance, which says that the average rate increase for individual and small group plans is still running below 10 percent. A spokesperson with the department told the Daily News that rate request generally reflect the rising cost of medical costs nationally, or about 7-to-8 percent a year.
 
Insurance rate reviews under Obamacare have already resulted in more than $1 billion in refunds to companies and individuals because the law requires that at least 80 percent of all premium costs be spent on actual healthcare and preventive care costs and no more than 20 percent for administrative purposes.

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