Health Plan Consumers Be Prepared for Huge Rate Increases in 2017

No wonder Obamacare’s sixth Birthday celebration March 23 passed completely unnoticed, there are some big losers in this experiment in healthcare legislation, nothing to expound on its successes, because there really isn’t any.

Remember the “Risk Corridor Provision” in the Affordable Care Act that guarantees insurers of their potential losses with Obamacare plans, commonly told to the public and sold to the health insurance companies as a means to adopt and expand into the new ACA marketplaces? The insurers that made profits in the new marketplace are required to place some of those profits in the risk corridor for those companies that lost in other geographic and demographic areas, well, guess what, they all lost money or went out of business, including our own taxpayer funded Nevada Co-op as well as over half the Co-ops nationwide. The oldest health insurance company (120 + years) in the world stopped selling health plans, forever. Health insurance companies were promised they would receive 100% of their losses, now it appears they will receive less than 13% of the losses due to Obamacare. Insurance companies and their stockholders have lost over 2.5 Billion dollars to date.

The results of this calamity will undoubtedly be extreme rate increases in the individual and commercial health insurance marketplace in 2017, and (or), there may limited or no areas that insurers will offer plans; they simply don’t want to market to areas where they will lose money. Yes, that means people who buy their own plans and employer sponsored plans will be affected – everything is Obamacare, including the plans you get from your employer. I urge everyone to be diligent and check out the Nevada Division of Insurance website for proposed rates for 2017, which should be available late May, approved Many Nevadans who pay for their own health insurance (individual plans) and don’t qualify for subsidies, saw their premiums rise an average of 250% when the Affordable Care Act went into effect in Nevada in 2014, two years earlier than was necessary, I might add. A couple in their mid-50’s were paying $500 per Month For an individual plan, that was extremely comprehensive with little out-of-pocket for wellness care, the same plan under the ACA in 2014 is $1300 with free wellness benefits. That seems extreme, and now they are paying close to $1500!

A few groups of citizens have been happy about the outcome of Obamacare: those who are now covered with free healthcare through expanded Medicaid, which is fairly admirable but plagued with fraud, as well as the vast majority of Nevadans who receive premium and cost-sharing subsidies, having their premiums and healthcare bills paid by their neighbors through statutory extortion. And because enrollment has stalled desperate government agencies let, with little or no accountability, ineligible people enroll to increase enrollment numbers, with about 2 Billion in unaccounted subsidies. The ineligible include, those with unmatched social security numbers, incarcerated, and dependents of employer plans, who are also ineligible to receive subsidies.

This is not good news for anyone who embraces Obamacare.

— Frank Welsh is a native of Northern Nevada and healthcare consumer advocate.

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