Forget the term “affordable” healthcare as insurers are expected to seek significant premium hikes this summer. Obamacare has been a financial drain for many companies Depending on the state, these could be in double digits as premium requests in each state will “reflect” what the insurance companies visualize as the “bottom line.” For example, Virginia (with 9 insurers returning to the Healthcare.gov marketplace) reports that the companies are looking for average increases of 9.4%-37.1%, although initial estimates may change.
Although 12 million people across the nation now receive coverage through the health law’s markets, which offer subsidized private policies, increases could also affect millions more who bought individual policies outside the government system.
According to administrative figures, silver plan premiums already rose by an average of 7% for 2016. One of the main problems has centered on lower-than-hoped-for enrollment, sicker than expected customers, and a hard to manage internal stabilization system that failed to “deliver” as promised and was already scheduled to be cut back next year. It is now expected that a spike in rates for 2017 will be one of the first major problems faced by the new president (whoever that might be), and ignite the long-running political debate over the very divisive law.