Obamacare rates rose 4% in 2015, 8% this year, and according to the government, will be a steep 22% on average in 2017. Rates are dropping in a few areas, however in others areas increase is over 100%, sometimes close to 200%. Even worse, many of the worst hit areas only have one provider to choose from. While it’s true that subsidy increases will offset the rate increases for some, others who make too much to get a subsidy get clobbered. And, where does the subsidy money come from. Isn’t Obamacare supposed to be self-funding?
Also, there’s a huge hidden gotcha for the self-employed, whose subsidy is based on current year income. If they make more in 2017 than in 2016, they may have to pay make part of the subsidy at tax time, and since their subsidy will be higher, so will the amount they have to pay back.
One problem is estimates of costs were way too low and insurance companies have lost money. That’s why some insurance companies are leaving the marketplace. Another problem of course is an obstructionist Congress and balky states.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell cautioned that insurers are “continuing to adapt” to a market that looks very different from before “Obamacare,” one in which they are trying to compete for costumers “based on price and quality” and not necessarily by “finding the healthiest customers.”
Premiums are also affected by efforts to undermine the health care law, she said in a statement Monday, including certain states’ decisions not to expand Medicaid and actions taken by a Republican-led Congress to block funding for the law.