June 14, 2016
Contrary to all the promises, the increasingly exorbitant cost of health insurance under Obamacare is beginning to be revealed as Blue Cross Blue Shield prepares to implement a 60 percent rate hike for individual policies in its Texas market.
The increases will affect more than half a million Texans who are now enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield – if approved, the new rates will go into effect in 2017.
From The Dallas Morning News:
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has about 603,000 individual policyholders and, unlike other insurers in the state, offers coverage in every county. In a recent filing with federal regulators, the company said it is seeking increases averaging from 57.3 percent to 59.4 percent across its individual market plans.
“In a statement, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said its request is based on strong financial principles, science and data. ‘It’s also important to understand the magnitude of the losses … experienced in the individual retail market over the past two years,’ the statement said. The company says it lost $592 million last year and $416 million in 2014.”
Among the worst affected in Texas will be those who live in rural areas where Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only coverage available.
Texas is not alone
Texas, the third-biggest market under the Affordable Care Act after Florida and California, is not the only state that will see significant rate hike increases in 2017, suggesting that the ACA is not so affordable, after all:
“With data available for about half the states, premium increases appear to be sharper, but there are also huge differences between states and among insurers. Health insurance is priced locally.
“A recent analysis of nine states by the consulting firm Avalere Health found that average premium increases for the most popular kind of plan ranged from 5 percent in Washington state to 44 percent in Vermont.”
The rate increases throughout the country are in response to huge financial losses for insurers that have been caused by low enrollment, higher-than-expected cost of medical care for many patients and “problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets.”
Some policyholders are eligible for government subsidies that typically cover more than 70 percent of premiums, but many people are ineligible of such protection, including “small business owners, self-employed people and early retirees.”
For many, dropping coverage will be the only option
There is a real concern that many people will simply be forced to drop their coverage, even at the risk of paying fines.
“In a country where the cost of living is going up on virtually all fronts but wages and jobs are not increasing, exactly who is going to be able to afford this insane rate hike? And that’s just to pay for the insurance in case you get sick…”
“Affordable health care for all” was a lie – Obamacare has accomplished precisely the opposite and the evidence of this continues to mount as Texas and other states witness skyrocketing premium costs.
“As this is happening, your employer will either go out of business trying to cover your skyrocketing health care costs, or — more likely — slash your hours to make you a part-time employee with no health insurance coverage. You’ll then need a second job to make up the lost income from the first job, and you still won’t have health coverage because you’re part time at the second job, too. So you’ll need a third job just to raise enough money to pay for a crappy health care plan with a $20,000 deductible. But you don’t have $20,000, so if something serious happens to you, you’re basically bankrupt, jobless and ultimately homeless.”