Good News: Cost of Individual Healthcare Plans Could Rise 116% Under ObamaCare

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 at 8:19 am
Barack Obama

If the cost of your plan doesn’t rise more than 100% then you’re saving money. Just ask Nancy Pelosi.

Health insurers are privately warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year because of the health-care overhaul law, with the nation’s biggest firm projecting that rates could more than double for some consumers buying their own plans.

The projections, made in sessions with brokers and agents, provide some of the most concrete evidence yet of how much insurance companies might increase prices when major provisions of the law kick in next year—a subject of rigorous debate.

Obama promised “savings” of $2500 per family. How’s that working out?

The individual market includes about 15 million people, and around 18% of the roughly 149 million with employer coverage were at small companies, according to 2011 figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The individual market is expected to grow to around 35 million people by 2016 as a result of the law.

In a private presentation to brokers late last month, UnitedHealth Group Inc.,  the nation’s largest carrier, said premiums for some consumers buying their own plans could go up as much as 116%, and small-business rates as much as 25% to 50%. The company said the estimates were driven in part by growing medical costs not directly tied to the law. It also cited the law’s requirements that health status not affect rates and that plans include certain minimum benefits and limits to out-of-pocket charges, among other things.

Good thing we had a “national conversation about this before Democrats unilaterally shoved it down our throats, huh? The sick thing is Republicans will wind up being blamed  for this.

Jeff Alter, who leads UnitedHealth’s employer and individual insurance business, said the numbers represented a “high-end scenario,” not an average. “There are some scenarios in which a member could see as much as a 116% increase or over,” he said, though others, such as some older consumers, could see decreases. He said the company dwelled on the possible increases because it was trying to prepare brokers to speak with clients facing big jumps.

Other carriers have also projected steep rate increases during private meetings and conversations with brokers. Brokers say they are being told to prepare the marketplace for small-business and individual rate increases as carriers get ready to file specific rate proposals and plan designs with regulators.

On the upside, some folks may not pay as much as a 116% increase. It could be only half that.

More savings!

Aetna Inc., in a presentation last fall to its national broker advisory council, suggested rates on individual plans not being grandfathered under the law could go up 55%, on average, and gave a figure of 29% for small business rates. Both numbers included 10 percentage points tied to medical-cost inflation, not the law. An Aetna spokesman said the numbers are “still generally in line with what we’ve been estimating,” and represented the average impact in a typical state.

An official with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina told a gathering of brokers last week that individual premiums could go up by as much as 40% to 50%, according to brokers who were present. A spokeswoman for the insurer said “we don’t have final numbers” yet on premiums.

Democrats who voted for this mess should be forced to defend it in 2014. Is it any wonder why they’d prefer to talk about anything else?


6 Responses to “Good News: Cost of Individual Healthcare Plans Could Rise 116% Under ObamaCare”

  1. Blue Hen on 22/22/13 at 10:17 am

    Dems: Quick; we have to start talking about the Redskins and gay abortions for Big Bird.

  2. john on 22/22/13 at 10:54 am

    “could” or will? The cost has been going up on healthcare at about 10% per year. 1/3 of our health costs are for administration and profit.

  3. MT Geoff on 22/22/13 at 3:34 pm

    @#3: Administration is a necessary componenent of both healthcare (we need to hire people, buy stuff, keep records) and healthcare insurance operations (track premiums, verify and pay claims, etc). And profit is a necessary reward for providing valuable goods and services. Is 1/3 either true or excessive? I have doubts. The Dems’ benchmark of (I think it is) 80% to healthcare payment automatically makes me think that value is too high.
    The people who are going to see the really sharp healthcare premium hikes are generally going to be the ones who are paying lower premiums now — the young and healthy. That was a major point of the plan: to push more people who need few services into buying insurance and then hit them with high premiums to pay for everyone else’s care. If the system lasts, the shafted young will move into the ranks of the subsidized middle-aged or older.
    If it turns out like SS is likely to, the shafted young will wind up the shafted middle-aged.
    Elections have consequences and, by and large, it was the young who elected the ones who are about to give them what they voted for. Good and hard. Also lining up another war in Iran, perhaps. At least GW Bush got us economic growth during his wars.

  4. Lefty the Rat on 24/24/13 at 2:24 pm

    How bout that “free” health care comrades. I’m so glad the poor have such in advocate in the chicago jesus messiah.