Earlier this summer, it was reported that Insurance Carriers across the country had submitted a request to increase premiums for Individual Health plans by huge margins - 20, 30, 40% in some cases. Today the WSJ is reporting that many states are now approving these large increases, sighting the increases are warranted, even as President Obama is suggesting the approvals will be less than what is requested.
Those carriers that got a large part of the market share in 2014 and 2015, were the lucky recipients of insureds coming off the state CHIP plans - these plans were made available to people deemed 'uninsurable' prior to "Obamacare" plans. The insurance companies didn't want the 'bad risk' and were able to decline them for coverage Pre-ACA. Meanwhile Obama's administration kept saying that the young, healthy individuals that will buy insurance will even things out. Guess what? Didn't happen! And now carriers are facing millions of dollars in losses....and asking for 25-35% increase in premiums, and getting approved for these increases!
The insurance commission in TN approved a 36.3% increase for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of TN; BCBS of NC got over a 30% increase as well as CareFrist of MD, which is just over 30%. In Oregon, the average increase is 25.6% for Moda Health Plan Inc, and KY Health Cooperative is not far behind. Not all states have completed the 'approval process', and in IL we are still waiting to see if Blue Cross of IL will get the 38% increase for their Blue Choice PPO plans. Even if this is reduced a few points to 35% or even 30%, that's a big pill to swallow for many individuals and families trying to make ends meet.
Read more: WSJ. Insurers win big health rate increases
So what happens to all those newly insured people when they see an increase in their health insurance 25% or 35%? Do you think they will continue to be able to afford these increases or will they go back to being uninsured? Time will tell!