by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Many states that have released Obamacare price information for next year are showing double-digit price hikes that are steeper than in years past.
More Obamacare rate increases will trickle out over the next few weeks, with the healthcare law’s fourth enrollment season set to begin Nov. 1. The Obama administration is expected to release the biggest rate increases sometime next month, after reviewing plan information insurers had to submit by Aug. 23.
Some of the heftiest price hikes so far are from smaller insurers who cover just a tiny fraction of people without employer-sponsored coverage who buy individual market plans. But in some states, the biggest insurers are massively increasing their prices, creating a much broader impact on consumers, especially those eligible for small federal subsidies or none at all.
Cunningham spotlights a handful of states.
Insurance regulators are allowing the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plans to raise prices by 62 percent on average. The plans cover the vast majority of Tennessee’s Obamacare enrollees, with 83 percent individual market share.
Health Care Services Corp., also a Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee, has a massive share of individual market enrollees, nearly 82 percent. The company is raising rates an average of 51 percent during the upcoming enrollment season.
A third Blues plan, this one called Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, will charge Kentucky customers 23 percent more on average. The company covers 78 percent of the state’s individual market enrollees.
Twenty-seven percent of individual market shoppers in Georgia are covered by Humana plans. The company has been approved to hike rates an average of 67 percent next year.