American consumers were promised that Obamacare would save them money, but premiums for the national healthcare program are set to rise by 25 percent for the next year.
Following a 7.2 percent uptick in 2016, premiums for the Affordable Care Act are expected to soar by an average of 22 percent in 2017, according to information released Monday by President Barack Obama’s administration.
News of the increase comes after several insurers began raising their prices and reducing their presence on healthcare.gov exchanges in an effort to make up for losses incurred by taking on unhealthy patients.
Before the subsidies kick in, “premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally-run online market, the Department of Health and Human Services reported. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less. Fox example, in Arizona, premiums for the benchmark plan will increase by 116 percent next year, from $196 to $422.”
Health plan choices are also shrinking. One in 5 consumers will only have one plan to “choose” from because major health insurance companies are backing out of the program.
“Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period,” said Larry Levitt, who tracks the health care law for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Obama administration is trying to spin the situation by saying that 85 percent of enrollees will be eligible for some kind of subsidy. The administration says that three-quarters of the forced participants will find a plan that costs less than $100 a month. But with what deductible?
“Relatively few people will feel the premium increases, but everyone will hear about them,” Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, told CNN. “That will have an effect on the perception of the program.”
Coupled with the price hikes, consumers will have less insurance plans to choose from. The number of insurers will drop down to 167 in 2017 from 232 in 2016. But if you were thinking of changing your plan, think again. You might have to change your doctor and lose coverage for certain prescription drugs.
The number of uninsured Americans has dropped to 8.6 percent, an all-time low. It’s amazing what happens when you force citizens to buy into a government program.