Virginia First To Release Post-Obamacare Premium Proposals: Rate Hikes For All

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Virginians will see upped health insurance premiums in 2015 ranging from 3.3 percent to 14.7 percent, according to the filings from the first state to release any information about what Obamacare could bring next year.

The premium proposals were submitted to the state insurance office for official approval and were made public Monday. Each health plan expects to increase its prices in 2015 past nominal increases for inflation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Anthem HealthKeepers, run by WellPoint, expects to up its premiums on and off Virginia’s Obamacare exchange by an average of 8.5 percent. While some customers could see a hike of just 0.5 percent, others will see increases up to 16.6 percent.

The fees are due to a multitude of Obamacare worries, including sicker new customers, an influx of demand for health care services from the newly insured and a plethora of new Obamacare taxes.

The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States proposed increasing its premium rates by just 3.3 percent for its 10,000 Virginian members. Meanwhile, CareFirst BlueChoice, which offers coverage to 32,000 people, has proposed a 14.9 percent hike, citing a rise in the average age of its customers.

It’s likely that younger and healthier customers will be hit with larger premium increases due to the Affordable Care Act rule banning insurers from charging higher premiums to customers who use more health services, such as older and sicker enrollees.

Those states with the biggest influx of unhealthy customers could be in store for larger rates hikes than others.

Virginia’s federally-run Obamacare exchange signed up 216,000 for coverage according to the latest report from the Obama administration, but the Obama administration has yet to release any data on how many of those sign-ups have paid their first premiums.

Virginia is the first state to release its rate proposals for 2015; Washington state is expected to follow this week. Many states won’t make the data public until late summer.

Obamacare critics have warned that Obamacare’s wide, mandatory benefits will cause premium rate increases. Some insurance companies, including WellPoint, also initially predicted drastic increases. (RELATED: Top Obamacare insurer expects ‘double-digit plus’ rate hikes) 

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Sarah Hurtubise