The train wreck terminology that has become synonymous with The Affordable Care Law (Obamacare) keeps rolling down the tracks. Health industry officials said Thursday that Obamacare premiums will likely double or triple in certain parts of the country next year.
The startling announcement puts more pressure on the Democrats to act quickly on the ill-fated law before their own campaign races begin this summer.
Ironically, one reason for the major premium hikes includes the numerous delays and changes of the law, the Hill reports. One senior insurance executive anonymously told publication, "Everyone knows that the way the exchange has rolled out it iss going to lead to higher costs."
However, the biggest cost increases derive from the administration's erroneous projections about the number of young healthy consumers who would enroll. The White House has been providing inflated numbers for this group, along with total sign-ups to the new health care law overall.
The Obama administration had estimated approximately 40 percent of enrollees would be between the ages of 18 and 35. Any insurance professional knows that a “risk pool” must have a substantial number of healthy participants to equal out those receiving benefits from injury or illness.
Yet, as of March 1, only 25 percent of those enrolled were young people.
Naturally, holding to their wild projections since the October 1, 2013 roll-out, the Obama administration insisted the rate of enrollment for the young would accelerate during the final two weeks of March.
That prediction, along with all the others, is highly unlikely.
Rate hikes will vary depending on the region and the carrier, but here’s the kicker - less healthy populations are likely to be affected most.
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, admitted to congressional lawmakers premium rates would increase in 2015. But they would be “slower,” according to The Wall Street Journal. "The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act," Sebelius told the House Ways and Means Committee.
The scope of this surprise will become clearer once insurers begin the process of filing their rate proposals with state insurance commissioners. It’s possible some insurers will hold rates down to attract more customers.
The political fallout for Democrats could become a worse than it already is. Premium rate hikes will most certainly undermine Obamacare enrollment efforts in 2015, The Hill reported.
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