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The Affordable Care Act will become less affordable for many during 2017. States that utilize Healthcare.gov will see premiums rise to a degree that may be downright unaffordable for some. According to the federal government, mid-level plans under the Affordable Care Act “will increase by an average of 25 percent next year, while consumers in some states will find significantly fewer insurance companies offering coverage”.
This could prove devastating for some, and we want our followers to know about this projected rise in health care premiums now that open enrollment for Healthcare.gov has commenced. For instance, customers in Phoenix, Arizona are looking at a 145% increase on their premiums. As for New York Obamacare users, “NY’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) said after weighing insurer requests, the state settled on an average hike of 16.6 percent for individual exchange users in the state, while small group users will see a lower average increase of over 8 percent.”
There are multiple reasons why these healthcare providers are increasing their premiums. For one, a good number of insurers mispriced their plans when the law first came into effect, and now must increase their rates to cover the expensive medical care that individuals receive under the law. When Obama care went into effect, insurers simply didn’t have the information they needed on their new customers to price their rates accordingly.
For some states, this change is overly problematic. Insurance companies such as Aetna and UnitedHealthcare are leaving marketplaces. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming will only have 1 insurance company to choose from in their marketplace. This will undoubtedly prove catastrophic for these 5 states.
One of the only potential ways to steer clear of this drastic change is by switching insurance carriers and looking for a cheaper option. This rise in premium still presents a problem for healthy individuals already in or just entering the marketplace who don’t require regular doctor visits. But a huge problem will arise for those who do have regular doctor visits. Switching your healthcare provider may mean switching doctors, and for some, that’s simply not possible.
The low premiums presented to those utilizing Obamacare depend on competition. So, it may actually be a good idea for Healthcare.gov customers to switch to an insurance carrier with low-premium plans.If customers don’t switch to the cheaper plans, insurance companies have no reason to compete by lowering the rates on their plans.
This increase in price doesn’t just affect individuals – it affects the entire country. Federal tax dollars pay the subsidies for those receiving healthcare under the Obamacare law. And if these premiums skyrocket, and continue to skyrocket, this may place pressure on the federal budget.
So, if you already have insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or if you are a new customer to the Healthcare.gov marketplace, you should take this opportunity to shop around. If you are eligible for a subsidy, and you can find a cheaper plan, we suggest doing so. Unless, of course, you are currently seeking regular medical attention and your doctor does not take the new plan you are considering.
We encourage anyone who is insured under the marketplace or plans to shop under the marketplace to take the time in choosing the right insurance plan for them – one that will cover their individual needs and not harm their budget. If you’d like, share your own experience with the Affordable Care Act. The New York Times wants to hear your thoughts on the matter. “A reporter or editor from The Times may follow up with you directly to learn more about your story.”