When insurance companies across the country requested hefty hikes for their Obamacare plan premiums, we noted that regulators might deny or scale back the requests. But the first official numbers are in from Oregon, and the results aren’t pretty for the ACA. Not only did the state’s Insurance Commissioner approve big premium hikes, she has even required insurers that didn’t request any increases to raise their prices. WSJ:
Laura Cali approved an average 25.6% increase for Moda Health Plan Inc., the biggest plan on the state’s health exchange. She also gave a green light to average increases of 30% or more for four smaller companies, in a decision released this week. And she required plans that hadn’t attempted to raise rates to do so anyway, including Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, by an average of 8.3% […]
“We share the concerns expressed through public comment about the affordability of health insurance in Oregon, and these final rates were approved in order to protect consumers from extreme rate increases in the future. Inadequate rates could also result in companies going out of business in the middle of the plan year, or being unable to pay claims,” she said in a statement.
Oregon news outlet The Oregon has more:
The more than 100,000 people who purchased Moda policies on the individual market will see increases of 25.6 percent more in 2016 compared to this year, or $307 per month for a 40-year-old Portland resident buying a silver plan (the example scenario the division uses to compare policies).
These rate hikes will be far more important for Obamacare’s future than the SOCTUS decision. The ACA’s failure to address the root causes of health care inflation means that the troubles with health care haven’t ended. In the near future, plans will be too expensive for too many families, with high deductibles and restrictions on doctor choice. Subsidies will help, of course, but they won’t fix the problem. The costs to government of subsidies will continue to increase, threatening the sustainability of the system and further burdening taxpayers.
The Obama Administration is apparently issuing more talking points for family conversations on Obamacare. Supporters in Oregon are going to need all the talking points they can get, if they want to avoid getting roasted at the family barbecue.