Your Health Insurance Cost is Going Up

Oregon dumps cold water on low Obamacare rates

…The Oregonian – June 22, 2015…

They wanted their Obamacare prices to be low but the state said “no.”

The state of Oregon reportedly has ordered a number of insurers to raise proposed Obamacare premiums for 2016 after some of those companies asked for rates that were only moderately higher, if not lower than this year. Now, many Obamacare customers there are looking at likely double-digit percentage rate increases after having experienced some of “the lowest premiums in the nation,” the Oregonian noted.

For example, Oregon’s Health CO-OP asked for a 5.3-percent average rate increase for next year, but the state’s preliminary decision calls for a 19.9 percent average hike for that insurer’s plans. Trillium Community Health Plan requested a 5 percent average increase, but the state wants 12.4 percent hike.

And Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest wanted to actually cut rates by an average of 2 percent. But the state said those rates should rise by an average of 8.3 percent.

Even in cases where the state didn’t modify a proposed rate, many customers are in for bad news. The Oregonian noted that Moda Health Plan, which covers almost half of Oregon’s 220,000 people who buy their own private health insurance, asked and received approval for rates that are 25.6 percent higher on average.

The state’s move to force rates higher than those proposed is in response to concerns that Oregon’s Obamacare prices were too low for what insurers were paying out to cover for customers’ health benefits.

In 2014, Oregon insurers collected $703 million in premiums, but paid out $830 million on their plans, the Oregonian noted, citing insurers’ financial reports.

“We need to ensure a market that long term is stable, competitive and insurers pricing that is much closer to the cost of delivering health care,” Oregon’s director of Consumer and Business Services Pat Allen told the newspaper.

The rates for 2016 won’t become final until after public hearings later this month…


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