Obamacare drives up insurance premiums by up to 146 percent in California

Eva Cover Contributor
Font Size:

Forbes reported Thursday that California’s brand of Obamacare, Covered California, will cause residents to experience rate increases ranging from 64 to 146 percent.

Peter Lee, the executive director of the California exchange, bragged that Covered California will help reduce the financial burden experienced by Californians by decreasing insurance premiums. “We will be able to deliver exceptional value, low rates, access to health care in every region of the state,” Lee said last week.

While Obamacare may cause the rates for small employer plans to decrease, it will cause rates charged to individuals to increase, according to data released by Lee last week. Forbes wrote that a 25-year-old man who is a non-smoker should expect to pay on average $184 per month for Covered California’s cheapest plan. Comparatively, before Obamacare, the five cheapest programs cost on average $92.

But not everyone in California is a healthy 25-year-old man. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly two thirds of the California population is 25 or over, and the average age is 37.

Those over 30 are ineligible for Covered California’s cheapest program and instead must opt for a more expensive package. According to Forbes, a non-smoking 40-year-old would be required to pay on average $261 for the “Bronze Plan,” which has the least benefits of the coverage categories — bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Pre-Obamacare rates averaged $121.

Californians are not the only ones who will experience drastic premium increases. According to Politico Pro, a new survey states that “average premiums will rise between 5 percent and 25 percent in the individual market and between 6 percent and 12 percent in the small-group market.”

Similarly, in a reportsubmitted by the House of Representative’s Energy and Commerce Committee, one insurer confirmed that 45 states “will see significant premium increases.”

The news contradicts claims made by President Obama earlier this month in which he remarked, “Whenever insurance premiums go up, you’re being told it’s because of Obamacare — even though there’s no evidence that that’s the case.”

Follow Eva on Twitter