Obamacare Costs Expected To Sharply Rise In 2017

Date: May 09, 2016

Insurers Warn Health Insurance Premiums May Rise By More Than 10% Next Year

Since Obamacare’s implementation, health insurers have been warning that the regulation would lead to higher insurance costs. As insurers prepare their pricing guidelines for 2017, Margot Sanger-Katz wrote in the New York Times “The Upshot” blog that it already appears many Obamacare “insurance plans are going to raise their prices significantly.” Sanger-Katz explained “several trends are coming together that suggest” that Obamacare “may increase prices by 10 percent, or more.” She added that Peter Lee, the Executive Director of Covered California, recently said, “We expect our rates to go up more than that this year,” and “he predicted ‘big rate increases’ in other states.” Echoing this warning, the Washington Times reported that over the next few months, insurers are planning to announce double-digit rate increases on policies provided under Obamacare. That would hand Republicans “a key talking point” in their push to repeal the 2010 law. Although President Obama “insists” that his health policy “is working and hopes a Democrat will win the White House in November and preserve the law,” Republicans “say the cracks already are showing.” They point to UnitedHealth Group’s decision to stop offering ACA plans on several state insurance exchanges “as proof that the law’s economics are collapsing.” The story adds, however, that there are doubts about “whether Republicans will capitalize,” as exchange customers “don’t have to begin signing up for next year’s coverage until Nov. 1, so rate shock won’t hit until days before the election at the earliest.”

The Miami Herald reported that despite several insurers’ warnings that they intend to significantly raise premiums for 2017, the Obama Administration maintains this is not a foregone conclusion. The Department of Health and Human Services pointed out that “state officials predicted an average 9.5 percent increase in monthly rates for all individual plans in 2016,” but “the actual amount paid by Floridians receiving government” subsidies was much lower, and 2017 should be no different.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small businesses have suffered the brunt of rising healthcare expenses under Obamacare. News that insurers expect to heavily increase premium costs in 2017 is the latest troubling effect of this failed healthcare policy.

Additional Reading

An editorial in the Washington Post addressed UnitedHealth Group’s decision to pull out of many Obamacare markets for 2017.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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