The massive health insurance premium increases that many health experts have been expecting are coming.
It was reported by the media on Friday that some insurers are asking State governments to approve double-digit rate increases. We are told the actual increases are likely to be less than requested. Unfortunately, people who pay for their own insurance out of pocket can expect a big bite out of their wallet this time around. A CNBC report says the focus is mainly on the most popular “silver” plans.
Average plans in major cities could rise as much as 12 percent, according to an analysis by health plan comparison site, HealthPocket. Silver plans may rise by even more than that, up to 14 percent, according to HealthPocket.
12 to 14 percent may sound like a big jump, but that is the low end!
If you are covered by a health maintenance organization (HMO) or an exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan, watch out! Premium increases for those plans could leap 18-to-20 percent, according to the report by CNBC.
CNBC reported that there is little data for 2015 proposed prices right now, because the prices do now need to be submitted until after people had enrolled in 2014.
The reason big price increases were not seen prior to this is that a 25 percent increase in competition was in play. Obamacare market insurers were buying up market share, and keeping prices down.
That was the good news. The bad news is that there is no such expected increase in new competition fir 2016.
Republicans opposed to the mandatory health care law have been warning that prices would spike. The White House has been insisting the Affordable Care Act would cut monthly premiums. No one was listening to the Republicans, so the rate increases have caught many by surprise.
Some people wil be hit really hard by these premium increases. Worst hit will be those people ineligible for subsidies. Since they have to pay 100 percent of their health care premiums, about 8.7 million people receive subsidies of an average $272 per month. Anyone living in a state that uses the federal exchange wil suffer an even larger bit out of their wallet if the Supreme Court strikes down subsidies on the federal exchange. A decision in the King v. Burwell case is expected in the next few weeks.
Platinum plans, the most expensive and least popular may see a premium increase of 6 percent, up from $525.39 per month today to $558.62 in 2016.