The 2016 Presidential Elections have obscured recent news about the failing Affordable Care Act including the “astounding rate increases in store for so-called beneficiaries,” Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, reports.
Enrollees across the country are facing double-digit hikes in premiums, he says. “For example, Robert Laszewski who is perhaps the leading authority on Obamacare revealed recently that the biggest insurer in North Carolina is asking for an 18.8% rate increase for 2017 and the second biggest insurer, Aetna, is seeking to raise rates by 24.5%. Family plans there already cost as much as $10,000.”
Laszewski is president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, LLC (HPSA), a policy and marketplace consulting firm specializing in health policy. His credentials include being named the Washington Post’s Wonkblog “Pundit of the Year” in 2013.
He says that California is a prime example of the realities of the marketplace. Covered California, that state’s insurance marketplace, is looking at an average rate increase of 13.2% for next year. However, Laszewski notes, “the two biggest carriers are raising rates by much more than the average increase. Blue Shield said its average increase was 19.9% and Anthem said it would increase rates an average of 17.2%.”
Laszewski points out that the California exchange blames the soaring rates on the rising costs of healthcare. But, he says, the Milliman Medical Index shows that the baseline medical cost trend was up by just 4.7% year-over-year, the lowest annual increase since Milliman first measured the cost trend in 2001.
Milliman is one of the world’s largest providers of actuarial and related products and services.
Weber says that “No one is laughing at the irony of Obamacare’s official name, the Affordable Care Act. The fact is the ACA is having a significant and dramatic negative impact on the pocket books of anyone who purchases health insurance. This comes at a time when the country is in the hole financially and middle class households are carrying the heaviest burden. How bad do things have to get before we realize that Obamacare has to go. It shouldn’t have been enacted in the first place and needs to be repealed and replaced. If the candidates don’t make an issue of it in November, the voters should.”
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