Tags: Healthcare Reform | healthcare | insurance | rates | obamacare | costs

Insurers, Citing Obamacare Costs, Seek Rate Hikes Up to 50 Percent

By    |   Tuesday, 02 June 2015 07:54 AM

Health insurance providers nationwide are requesting massive rate increases for the coming year, including a 50 percent jump proposed by one of New Mexico’s biggest carriers, according to The Hill.

The White House on Monday posted health insurers' proposed rate increases for the coming year. Obamacare mandates that all requested increases above 10 percent be posted online by June 1, at which point negotiations begin between insurers and regulators.

The final rates must be locked by November.

A representative with the Kaiser Family Foundation tells The Hill that most of the increases are somewhere around 15 percent to 20 percent, but in addition to New Mexico, big jumps are requested by Tennessee’s biggest insurer — 36 percent for some plans — and Maryland, whose most popular insurance carrier is seeking a 30 percent hike.

Connecticut is asking for a 10 percent jump, while New York’s market leader wants 12 percent more.

Fox News reports that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is seeking a roughly 26 percent premium increase, while in President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois, individual premiums could rise by as much as 30 percent, according to The Chicago Tribune, which reported the largest average rate increases would be by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Coventry Health Care and Assurant Health.

"The rates that we are filing simply reflect the costs of health care including the cost of services, the amount of services people will receive and an increase in pharmaceutical costs," according to Coventry spokesman Rohan Hutchings.

This year reflects the first time since Obamacare became law that insurance carriers have a full year of data available about the risk pool, something that "is more uneven than they expected," according to The Hill.

"For the first time, we’ll actually have numbers that you can look at, whereas last year, it was all guessing games," Sabrina Corlette, director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University, told the website.

"The challenge last year was that nobody had any data on what to base rates. It was just blind man’s bluff for everybody."

The debate over premium increases comes as the Supreme Court gets ready to rule on the legality of subsidies for people who purchase their health insurance off the federal marketplace.

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Health insurance providers nationwide are requesting massive rate increases for the coming year, including a 50 percent jump proposed by one of New Mexico's biggest carriers, according to The Hill.
healthcare, insurance, rates, obamacare, costs
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2015-54-02
Tuesday, 02 June 2015 07:54 AM
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