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The Unaffordable ACA
Premiums in NYC See Double-Digit Spikes

Insurers in New York City that offer plans through the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange are looking to raise their premiums for next year—by as much as 28 percent. NYT has more:

Beth Leibson, a Manhattan resident, received a letter from MetroPlus saying it was working on raising her rate by 28 percent. She said this was a higher one-year increase than any rate rise she had had with previous insurance, including insurance under the federal law known as Cobra, where she paid the entire bill. “It seems to me that this defeats the purpose of ‘affordable’ health insurance,” Ms. Leibson said.

Over all, including plans inside or outside the exchange, insurance companies asked for average rate increases of 13 percent in 2015, the state’s Financial Services Department said Wednesday. The requests cover individual and small-group plans, but not large-group plans like those offered by large companies and government employers.

As the article notes, these are just requests and the actual increases approved by the regulators will probably be less. In addition, subsidies will rise to meet the increases. But shifting the burden of increasing costs onto taxpayers doesn’t change the fact that, once again, we are seeing our system get more and more expensive year on year. Even if the increases come in below 13 percent, they will still be well above inflation.

Even if we are able to spread the pain of subsidy increases around this year and next year and the year after that, we will reaching a breaking point where all the cost-shifting in the world won’t be able to prop up our unsustainable system.

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  • lord acton

    Stein’s Law (named after Herb, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers): “If something cannot go on forever, it won’t go on forever.”

  • FriendlyGoat

    We’d be better served by an army of sleuths infiltrating the hospitals to compare the changes to line-item list prices on their secret “charge-master” schedules year by year. The prices charged by incorporated medical providers are the drivers of insurance rates, and the general public never gets a clear view of how those prices are raised. This includes doctor groups, hospitals, prescription drugs and skilled nursing.

    • LarryD

      Transparency will help only if combined with a free market.

      And I believe you seriously underestimate the costs of regulatory complience.

      And then there is the performance of the VA.

      • FriendlyGoat

        The REASON you do not have the beneficial effect of a free market in health care is because the pricing is all secret. Not only that, but people are hardly able to shop around when they are sick or injured.

        There is NO cost of regulatory compliance to having every price down to the last coton swab on providers’ websites every moment of every day including every secret discount offered to every employer group or insurance contract. The COST, Larry, is what we all pay for not doing these things.

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