Some years ago, when the “Affordable Care Act” (aka ObamaCare) was being sold to the American public, certain public officials claimed that the cost of health care would actually go down.
“I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year,” said then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2007.
Around the U.S., the biggest insurers have proposed hefty premium increases for the year ahead, based on what they say they now know about the costs of covering people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act. Supporters of the health law have been counting on state regulators to rein in hefty premium increases for the law’s third year in full effect.
But in Oregon, the first state to announce final 2016 rates, Insurance Commissioner Laura Cali approved an average 25.6% increase for Moda Health Plan Inc., the biggest plan on the state’s health exchange. She also gave a green light to average increases of 30% or more for four smaller companies, in a decision released this week. And she required plans that hadn’t attempted to raise rates to do so anyway, including Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, by an average of 8.3%.
Ms. Cali said the changes were necessary for plans to stay afloat. State actuaries had reviewed claims incurred in 2014 and concluded they exceeded premiums collected that year by $127 million, or an average of $624 a person who signed up for insurance on their own, she said. [Emphasis added]