The Obamacare ‘Difference’

After Months Of Reported Premium Hikes, ‘Cost Overruns And Technology Delays’ A Key Obamacare Official Confirms The Law Is ‘Working As Intended’

 

OBAMACARE OFFICIAL: “…the Affordable Care Act is working as intended, making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Energy & Commerce Committee, Hearing, 7/31/14)

 

‘Double-Digit’ 2015 Obamacare Premium Increases Scheduled

“Most state health insurance rates for 2015 are scheduled to be approved by early fall, and most are likely to rise, timing that couldn’t be worse for Democrats already on defense in the midterms.” (Politico, 7/7/14)

INDIANA: 2015 premiums increases ‘as high as ... 46-percent’ “Initial 2015 premiums filed for the Obamacare exchanges in Indiana ranged from as high as a 46-percent hike to as low as a 9-percent cut.” (Indianapolis Business Journal, 5/19/14)

MARYLAND: 2015 premiums could increase up to 30% “Maryland’s dominant insurance company, CareFirst, is proposing hefty premium increases of 23 to 30 percent for consumers buying individual plans next year under the federal health-care law, according to filings released Friday.” (The Washington Post, 6/6/14)

WASHINGTON: 2015 premiums could increase ‘up to 26%’ “If approved, rate increases for 2015 individual health plans proposed by 12 insurance companies may affect most policyholders... [up] to an increase of 26 percent...” (The Seattle Times, 5/13/14)

ARIZONA: 2015 premium increases up to 25.5 percent “New filings trickling into the Arizona Department of Insurance show at least two health insurers plan to increase rates more than 10 percent. Cigna Wants To Increase Rates An Average Of 14.4 Percent And Humana, 25.5 Percent.” (The Arizona Republic, 6/2/14)

LOUISIANA: ‘Double-digit increases’ up to 24% possible “Some Louisiana private health insurers filed for double-digit percentage increases in 2015 for policies sold under the Affordable Care Act's health exchange, according to filings this week with the Louisiana Department of Insurance.” (New Orleans Times Picayune, 7/15/14)

TENNESSEE: 2015 Premiums Could Increase up to 21.7% “BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee — the state's dominant health insurance provider — is asking to raise rates by an average of 19 percent for its exchange plans in 2015, according to documents filed with the state of Tennessee. ...the consumer will experience a rate increase between 6.1 percent and 21.7 percent...” (Chattanooga Times Free Press, 7/17/14)

NEW YORK: 2015 premiums could increase up to 19.7% “Insurance firms participating in New York’s ObamaCare health exchange are seeking double-digit hikes for patient medical premiums in 2015, new figures reviewed by The Post reveal. The average hike sought by insurers for individual plans is 12 percent—but a number of firms serving large numbers of patients want to boost individual premiums by nearly 20 percent. Leading the charge is Excellus Health Plan, which is seeking to sock more than 24,000 customers with a 19.7 percent hike.” (New York Post, 7/3/14)

VERMONT: 2015 premiums could increase up to 18.3% “The two companies that sell policies on the state’s online health insurance marketplace — Vermont Health Connect — have filed requests with state regulators for big rate increases for 2015. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont has asked for an average increase for its plans of 9.8 percent. ... MVP Health Care proposed an even bigger rate increase — an average 15.4 percent, with a range starting at 10.7 percent and rising to 18.3 percent.” (Burlington Free Press, 6/3/14)

MICHIGAN: 2015 premium increases up to 18 percent “Most people buying their own health insurance in Michigan could see near double-digit premium increases next year. State insurance regulators said Wednesday that dominant insurers Blue Care Network and Blue Cross Blue Shield want to raise rates by an average of 9.3 percent or 9.7 percent in 2015. ... Humana is the insurer with the third most customers in Michigan's individual market and seeks an average 18 percent rate increase affecting 16,600 customers.” (The Associated Press, 6/26/14)

VIRGINIA: 2015 premiums could increase up to 14.9% “…the Anthem HealthKeepers Inc. plan offered by a unit of WellPoint Inc. said it would raise premiums by an average of 8.5% across its individual plans in Virginia, which cover about 110,000 people... The Virginia filings show other health plans proposing rate increases ranging from 3.3% for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., with around 10,000 members in the state, to 14.9% for CareFirst BlueChoice Inc., which said it had about 32,000 members.” (The Wall Street Journal, 5/11/14)

IOWA: 2015 premium increases up to 14.5 percent “About a quarter of a million Iowans would see their insurance rates rise next year should the state approve a request from Iowa's dominant health insurer. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced Friday that it is seeking to raise premium rates for 253,000 policyholders in Iowa. ... For the remaining 7.5 percent of policyholders — those who have post-Affordable Care Act plans for individuals under 65 — Wellmark is asking for a rate increase between 11.9 percent and 14.5 percent.” (Des Moines Register, 6/20/14)

FLORIDA: 2015 premium increases up to 14.1% “State insurance officials are preparing to release figures next week on how much health plans will cost under the Affordable Care Act for 2015, and rate increases seem inevitable as insurers say their new consumers are older and sicker than anticipated. ... Top executives at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Cigna said rate increases are likely, but declined specifics. Humana proposed an average 14.1 percent increase for its HMOs...” (AP, 7/30/14)

OHIO: “Premiums would increase 13 percent next year for Ohioans who buy health coverage through the federally run insurance exchange, the Ohio Department of Insurance said yesterday.” (The Columbus Dispatch, 5/30/14)

OREGON: 2015 premiums could increase up to 12.5% “Moda Health captured more than 40 percent of the state's exchange enrollees this year, with about 95,000 people covered under its plans. The company is proposing to increase prices by an average of 12.5 percent. Only one other carrier proposed a double-digit price increase.” (The Hill, 6/11/14)

RHODE ISLAND: 2015 premium increases ‘averaging 12 percent’ Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is proposing 2015 premium increases averaging 12 percent for individuals and families, and 8 percent for small groups.” (Providence Journal, 5/19/14)

CALIFORNIA: 2014 premiums increased ‘between 22% and 88%’ “The cost of health insurance for individuals skyrocketed this year in California, with some paying almost twice what they did last year, the state's insurance commissioner said.... For 2014, consumers purchasing individual policies paid between 22% and 88% more for health insurance than they did last year.” (LA Times, 7/29/14)

 

‘Botched’ Obamacare Website ‘Still Unable To Perform Essential Functions’

“Ten months after the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, Obamacare's federal health insurance exchange is still dogged by cost overruns and technology delays that could hamper enrollment when it resumes in November, a U.S. watchdog said.” (Reuters, 7/30/14)

  • “The federal health insurance marketplace… still suffers from serious problems, raising questions about whether it will be ready to enroll millions more people this fall, federal investigators said Wednesday.” (The New York Times, 7/30/14)
  • “…the marketplace is still unable to perform essential functions needed to pay insurers and update information on consumers.” (The New York Times, 7/30/14)

“A new report finds that the government did not plan well or properly provide oversight for the new federal health exchange launched last October.” (USA Today, 7/30/14)

  •  “…agency officials aggravated the situation by allowing too little time for the work; changing the directions it gave the main contractor, CGI Federal; and not scrutinizing the contractor’s progress, the investigators found.” (The Washington Post, 7/30/14)
  • “In 40 instances, [GAO Official William Woods] said, the staff members of the federal exchange ‘inappropriately authorized contractors to expend funds, totaling over $30 million.’” (The New York Times, 7/30/14)

“The total cost of HealthCare.gov and its supporting systems hit $840 million in March, according to a forthcoming report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO).” (Reuters, 7/30/14)

  • “Between September 2011 and February of this year, the cost for building the marketplace ballooned from $56 million to $209 million.” (The Washington Post, 7/30/14)
  • “The GAO report blamed cost increases on lax oversight, the complexity of the system and the need to rework technology. ... contract allowed for payment even when work was not completed.” (Reuters, 7/30/14)

 

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