Health insurance has always been a hot button topic in this country, and new information from health insurers is sure to stoke those flames yet again.
The Wall Street Journal reports that some health insurers are warning of potential sharp premium increases next year due to the health-care overhaul law—some potentially to the tune of more than double what they are right now.
Of course this new information goes against what the Department of Health and Human Services has been claiming about the upcoming changes—most notably that they would actually make health insurance “affordable and accessible.”
Jeff Alter who leads the employer and individual insurance business unit for United Health—the nation’s largest carrier—told the WSJ that these numbers were a “high-end scenario,” and not the average. “There are some scenarios in which a member could see as much as a 116% increase or over,” he told the WSJ, while other clients could potentially even see decreases.
As the WSJ reports, some of the differences in reporting are due to federal subsidies. These subsidies are meant to help low-income Americans cut costs on health insurance, but for the most part these types of subsidies are not included in projections from insurers.
Still, in presentations last month, one carrier alone noted that premiums for some consumers who buy their own plans may increase as much as 116%, with small-business rates increasing anywhere from 20%-50%.
To be fair, the company did claim that estimates were so high because of increasing medical costs that were not directly tied to the change in law.