The Affordable Care Act just got 17.6 percent less affordable. The largest insurance company in Florida will raise the premiums for its ACA plans by an average of that rate next year. Kaiser Health News:
Next year will mark the fourth consecutive year Florida Blue has increased premiums by at least 11 percent on average for people under 65 who buy coverage on their own. Florida Blue increased rates an average of 16.5 percent in 2014, 16 percent in 2013 and 11.5 percent in 2012, the company said. […]Several factors related to the health law are driving up rates for next year, Geraghty said, including a paucity of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge of people seeking expensive health services. The law prohibits insurers from rejecting people with health problems or charging them higher premiums. That meant that many unhealthy people who had not been able to get coverage before were able to obtain policies in 2014.
According to the story, double-digit premium increases are not new in Florida: Insurers have raise prices by over 11 percent for at least the past four years. But even if the ACA isn’t the cause of an unusual spike in rates, it’s clearly doing nothing to slow this steady, year-on-year increase. The Affordable Care Act may be temporarily making health care more affordable for some people through the subsidies it provides, but only in the context of a system that is getting more unsustainable every year.