Tennessee, Louisiana Added To the List Of States Getting Double-Digit Obamacare Premium Hikes
Obamacare customers in Tennessee and Louisiana are now a part of the growing list of Americans who are facing double-digit premium hikes in the wake of the health care law.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee, the largest health insurer in the state, is upping its exchange premiums by an average of 19 percent, according to rate request filings. Humana is requesting an average 14.4 percent increase and Cigna is asking for a 7.5 percent rate increase, The Tennessean reports. (RELATED: Ohio Obamacare Premiums Up By Double Digits For 2015)
Louisiana customers will face even larger hikes. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the largest insurer in Louisiana as well, has proposed rate hikes between 18.3 percent and 19.7 percent for Obamacare customers. The company covers 52,600 people — over half of all those who signed up for Obamacare exchange coverage in Louisiana.
Humana in Louisiana hopes to hike its rates by 15.7 percent and Time Insurance Company, which covers just 1,000 customers, is requesting a 24 percent rate hike, according to state filings.
Insurance departments in both states will have to approve the premium hikes before they’re finalized, but it’s unlikely the final increases will be much lower. (RELATED: New York Already Had the Most Expensive Health Insurance — Now Obamacare’s Forcing Costs Back Up)
Democrats have brushed aside Obamacare-related rate hikes, calling them business as usual, but the health care law was supposed to bring health care costs down. But Obamacare supporters have largely abandoned the pledge to lower premium costs outright. (RELATED: Report Touts Pre-Obamacare Premium Hikes As Obamacare Pledge To Lower Costs Abandoned)
States are releasing 2015 premiums one-by-one and most rates will be made public by September. The timing of the expected rate hikes is making White House officials increasingly nervous about Democratic prospects in the November midterm elections, Politico reports.
While premiums are already increasing, certain provisions in the health care law are preventing customers from feeling the full brunt of Obamacare. The law’s risk corridor provisions redistribute funds amongst insurers participating in the exchanges, attempting to prevent companies from hiking rates due to enrolling high numbers of sick and costly individuals.
But several of the risk corridor provisions will be terminated in 2016 — and experts expect that health insurance premiums will skyrocket the next year. (RELATED: Top Health Economist Predicts Obamacare Will Ultimately Boost Number of Uninsured)