If you're being hit with a huge rate hike on your individual health plan next year, your insurance carrier likely 'placed bad bets' last year
by Wendell Potter healthinsurance.org contributor
October 6, 2015
Minnesotans who get health insurance through the individual market last week became the latest in the country to get unwelcome news: the cost of their coverage will likely go up significantly next year. According to the state’s Commerce Department, which regulates insurance in the North Star state, some customers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota may see their premiums jump nearly 50 percent beginning January 1.
A couple of months ago, the Wall Street Journal predicted that residents of several other states will also likely experience similar rate shock. Under the headline, “Insurers Win Big Health Rate Increases,” the Journal reported that regulators in Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee had given the green light to premium increases ranging from 11.4 percent to 36.3 percent for coverage in 2016.
What’s going on here? Wasn’t the Affordable Care Act supposed to make coverage more affordable, as its very name suggests?
The answer is yes. And although it won’t be much comfort to the folks who will be getting letters from their insurers telling them that they’ll have to shell out quite a bit more money for their coverage next year unless they switch plans, rate increases for most people will be relatively modest. And some lucky folks will actually get the happy news that their premiums will go down next year.
Why the wide variation in 2016 rates?