Obamacare Premiums Rise, Again
Mark your calendars (for disappointment)! On November 1 healthcare.gov will launch its third open enrollment season. Here in Pennsylvania, premiums for the second highest silver plan will climb, on average, by 11 percent. Nationally, premiums for these plans are rising an average of 7.5 percent.
The Department of Insurance recently announced roughly one-third of the companies offering individual plans were granted double-digit premium increases. Insurance Commissioner Miller noted the approved rates will save Pennsylvania consumers nearly $81 million compared to proposed rates in June. Pennsylvania insurers initially proposed premium hikes of more than 25 percent.
In other words, don't complain about your premiums rising because it could have been a lot worse. But premium hikes are just one part of the cost of health care.
Limits on premiums have led insurance companies to raise costs in other ways, such as higher deductibles and limiting or ending out-of-network coverage. In fact, consumers shopping on the exchange website still won't be able to see which doctors are “in-network.” It's no wonder the federal government is predicting small gains in enrollment for 2016.
Many Pennsylvanians, and many Americans, are paying more for individual health insurance since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The top-down approach to health care just isn't working. If quality and affordable health care is the goal, patients and consumers need more control.