Turns out, the Affordable Care Act (aka: ObamaCare) isn’t so affordable, after all.
The cost of Obamacare could rise for millions of Americans next year, with one insurer proposing a 50 percent hike in premiums, fueling the controversy about just how “affordable” the Affordable Care Act really is.
The eye-popping 50 percent hike by New Mexico insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield is an outlier, and state officials may not allow it to go through. But health insurance experts are predicting that premiums will rise more significantly in 2016 than in the first two years of Obamacare exchange coverage. In 2015, for example, premiums increased by an average of 5.4 percent, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute.
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… Monday is the deadline for publishing and providing an explanation for rate hikes of at least 10 percent. None announced so far is as dramatic as the New Mexico plan, although a few others are also quite sharp. The Blues in Maryland and Tennessee, both with the largest market share on the exchanges in their states, are seeking increases of more than 30 percent. In Oregon, Moda Health Plan — which attracted more than 40 percent of exchange customers in 2015, despite competing against a dozen other health plans — is seeking average rate increases of 25 percent. Other plans released to date — including some in these four states — are seeking far more modest increases.
The final premium hikes won’t be known until the conclusion of the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell case, which will decide whether or not the IRS can continue illegally implementing subsidies in states that did not set up insurance exchanges.
In either case, the true cost of ObamaCare is rearing its ugly head, reminding us all that when the government tries to micromanage the marketplace, disastrous consequences follow.