ACA Premiums Expected to Rise Sharply
Many insurers have lost money in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces,
partly due to the fact that they set their premiums too low when the plans
began in 2014. Now experts say
insurers likely will seek substantial rate increases.
Given that the ACA tax credits typically cushion the blow, it is
difficult to gauge the ultimate impact of these impending rate hikes on
consumers. Only 15 percent of enrollees through the ACA exchanges do not
receive a tax credit, and experts note that not all will bear the full burden
of price hikes due to their ability to shop around for the best deal.
"The market continues to react to the ACA, and we expect at least
another year of increases (some well into the double digits) before rates
start to stabilize," said Kevin Walters, a spokesperson for Tennessee Insurance
Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. The Obama administration has sought to get out
in front of the coming ObamaCare premium hikes, in part by downplaying their
likely impact. A report released by the Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) this month, for example, asserted that once the law's tax
credits are factored in, the effects of premium increases on consumers
would be modest.
UnitedHealth to Exit ACA in 22 States
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
will leave the Affordable Care
Act (ACA) health insurance marketplaces in at least 22 states to stem
losses related to the law. The company has not listed the markets it is
leaving, but confirmations of the withdrawals have been coming in from
state regulators in the 34 states where the company sold plans for this
Bloomberg reports that UnitedHealth is withdrawing from the
following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut,
Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. New York and Nevada
have confirmed that UnitedHealth will remain on their ACA exchanges for
2017, and the company has filed plans to participate in Virginia as well.
UnitedHealth's intent for its ACA marketplace plans in the remaining nine
states in which it was active remains unknown.