The cost of Obamacare could rise for millions of Americans next year, with one insurer proposing a 50 percent hike in premiums, fueling the controversy about just how “affordable” the Affordable Care Act really is.
The eye-popping 50 percent hike by New Mexico insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield is an outlier, and state officials may not allow it to go through. But health insurance experts are predicting that premiums will rise more significantly in 2016 than in the first two years of Obamacare exchange coverage. In 2015, for example, premiums increased by an average of 5.4 percent, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute.
The premium increases come at a tenuous time for Obamacare, which remains under fire from a Republican Congress that wants to repeal the law, while a Supreme Court ruling on federal subsidies for the health insurance looms in June as well.
“Insurers seem to be reporting higher trend, which means they are seeing bigger increases in health care costs,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president for special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “But really what’s going on here is they now have data showing what the risk pool looks like. Initially in 2014 they were completely guessing about who was going to enroll and how much health care they were going to use.”
Read more at POLITICO.