Obamacare premiums in Ohio might not rise as much as thought

Average premiums for 2015 coverage will go up 12 percent for individuals and small businesses.
TNS Regional News
Aug 9, 2014

 

Ohioans who will buy their 2015 health coverage through the federally run marketplace later this year won’t necessarily be hit by the double-digit premium increases disclosed Thursday by state insurance officials and trumpeted by politicians opposed to the Affordable Care Act.

Average premiums for 2015 coverage will go up 12 percent for individuals and small businesses, under rates approved by the Ohio Department of Insurance. That’s down slightly from the average 13 percent increase in premiums proposed by insurance carriers in May.

For individual plans, the average premium for all marketplace plans will be about $373 per month in 2015, compared with $333 this year.

But those averages, which will include the plans that are expected to have few enrollees as well as more popular plans, “don’t tell you very much,” said Gary Claxton of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “The consumer has to pay attention to what’s going on with their plan and the plans they can choose from.”

Consumers often will gravitate toward lower-cost plans, and the premium price can vary across geographic areas, he noted.

For example, in many geographic areas in which CareSource’s marketplace plans have been popular, the premium increases will be in the low single digits, Claxton said.

In Franklin County, for example, the rate increase for CareSource’s marketplace plans will range from 1.1 percent to 5.4 percent, according to the filing.

In its filing, CareSource projected enrollment in its marketplace plans will swell from 35,000 this year to nearly 64,000 next year.

Meanwhile, another carrier whose plans were popular in Ohio — Medical Mutual of Ohio — expects its rate increases to average about 7.7 percent, based on plans considered to have uniform modification of coverage.

The data released yesterday also do not factor in discounts that many consumers will see in their premiums next year. About 85 percent of the 154,668 Ohioans who signed up for 2014 marketplace plans are receiving tax credits averaging $250 per month, with Ohio residents getting a total $32 million in credits per month.

Some supporters of the federal health-care law that created the health-insurance marketplaces say opposition to the law from Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also heads the state Department of Insurance, deters her office from challenging insurance carriers’ proposed rate hikes.

“We are concerned that her hostility toward the Affordable Care Act has undermined her ability to be a public advocate for consumers in terms of rate review,” said Cathy Levine of the Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio, a consumer-advocacy group. “She doesn’t want to prove herself wrong (about the law) by aggressively challenging rate increases.”

Taylor spokesman Chris Brock disagreed.

“The department is charged with making sure consumers are protected and that the companies are solvent,” Brock said. “There isn’t any incentive for the department to not review the rates to make sure they’re actuarially sound.”

Ohioans with employer-sponsored health coverage shouldn’t read too much into the rate increases. One reason: companies that are fully insured don’t have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s essential health-benefit requirements, unlike health plans that are sold to many small businesses and individuals, said Carrie Haughawout, the department’s assistant director for policy and product coordination.

Politicians opposed to the Affordable Care Act seized on the 12 percent statistic, with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, saying it is “more evidence that Obamacare is not working for Ohio families.”

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By Ben Sutherly - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

freespeech1

Wait weren't we told they would go down? Period!

Fromthe419

If they raise 3 percent, I would assume everyone will see a pay increase of 3 percent, no? Eventually everyone will pay taxes and insurance and depend on the government for food. It was never about getting health care for all, it was about control.

Cliff Cannon

Amen.

former local

I only have health insurance because of Obamacare. It helps those of us who work for employers who would rather pocket the money than help loyal employees have health insurance.

JMOP

You know, you can buy private health insurance, your employer is not entitled to buy it for you. They will now have to pay a penalty is all.

Buying health insurance has been around way before Obama was in office.

freespeech1

Obamacare was sold on the fact it would be cheaper for all, and numerous other lies. How anyone thinks this crap law is good for the middle class is out of their minds. My insurance I just found out because of this farce is 36% over the next 3 years. Yeah obamacare is wonderful. thanks Obama u lying #$&%

Cliff Cannon

Amen

Windy

"Affordable" my *censored*.

TheGravyWhisperer

...hey hey hey ...doesn't somebody out there like him?

rogerthat

You guys are getting ripped by your insurance company if your premiums are up. I'm saving over $300 a month for better coverage. You should have gone to the website and checked it out instead of believing the medias bs.

JMOP

Thanks Roger! My family has been responsible for ourselves, and covered by the same insurance plan for over 15 years. We like our plan, and the premiums keep going up, even now more so than ever.

The media lied and particularly Obama blatantly sold lies. Where's my $2500 savings?

Your $300 savings a month is coming from somewhere. Do you know where?

rogerthat

Ask your insurance agent where your savings is. Your premium is set by the insurance company.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

I'm a productive member of society..... so I probably don't qualify.

JMOP

Nor do I. Being responsible = you get screwed by Obama.The reason is "at some point you've made enough".

rogerthat

Nice response from two who have never even investigated the benefits of ACA.

JMOP

Why would I Roger? I already stated that I like my plan. As for getting subsidies, I wouldn't qualify, even if I wanted to work the system like many others.

rogerthat

Why, you ask? You said your premiums keep going up. That is your insurance company doing that. I guess you like that too. You just blindly believe the right wing media that tells you ACA is bad without ever looking into it. I, for one, would rather have my tax dollars used to help Americans buy health insurance than have them spent overseas.

JMOP

I didn't have to look into that, nor did I even want to give that website one more hit.
My in-laws got dropped by their employer. He handed out the paper for them to fill out. They qualified for subsidies, they are paying the same for their premiums, but their deductible doubled, and to top it, they couldn't even keep their pediatrician.

No thank you.

TrollingMotors

If you were a productive member of society you would get your insurance through your employer and not need ObamaCARE

Yet here you are complaining.

Dr. Information

Not true at all Trolling. Many small business's cannot afford the insane costs of providing 100% coverage to their employee's. These people are productive. Troll along however.

Contango

Re: "I'm saving over $300 a month for better coverage."

Anecdotal. Can you prove this claim?

Contango

Re: "You should have gone to the website"

Healthcare.gov? Is it working now?

rogerthat

Too late. Snooze you lose.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Typical response from people who never think.

Fromthe419

Are you saving $300 per month because health care costs went down or are you saving $300 per month due to being subsidized by someone that can "afford" to pay more? Therein lies the rub.

rogerthat

Health care costs are ridiculously high because the system is broken. ACA is a small step in the right direction. My premiums are lower because I shopped for the best deal instead of blindly accepting my former insurance company's premium and because ACA elimiminates "pre-existing conditions". No rub.

JMOP

How much is your deductible?

rogerthat

Lower than before. I should have mentioned that too.

Contango

So it's only going up 12% instead of the anticipated 13%?

Wow! Strike up the band!!!

And the Fed. Resv. says that there is no inflation. LMAO!!!

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Obama: Your Premiums Will Go Down Under Obamacare

http://youtu.be/l4rkKzajF7Y

Premiums Will Decrease 3000% So You Should Get A Raise When H'care Is Passed

http://youtu.be/lUd-slJc-GY

The dopes drank it up.

Obama admits healthcare costs are not coming down

http://youtu.be/sPKTpPdiVTs

The dopes still drink it up.

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