(The Daily Signal) Consumers in at least two states face the prospect of double-digit increases in health insurance rates next year, as insurers attempt to price premiums amid uncertainty, including from Congress and President Donald Trump on the fate of Obamacare.
Also driving rate increases is the fact that the millions of Americans enrolled on Obamacare’s exchanges are sicker than the general population.
Insurance companies selling plans in Maryland and Connecticut have submitted their rate requests for 2018, as other insurers decide whether they’ll continue to offer coverage on Obamacare’s state-run and federal exchanges.
Already, Tennessee and Iowa have seen an exodus of major insurers. Consumers in parts of those states are in jeopardy of having no insurers to choose from on the exchange next year.
Humana announced in February that it no longer would sell Obamacare coverage in Tennessee, leaving residents of 16 counties in the eastern part of the state at risk of having no plans available to them.
But BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee stepped in Tuesday, notifying the state’s insurance commissioner in a letter that it would sell coverage on the Obamacare exchange in those areas.
That coverage, though, may come with a steep price, the insurer warned.
“Given the potential negative effects of federal legislation and/or regulatory changes, we believe it will be necessary to price-in those downside risks, even at the prospect of a higher-than-average margin for the short term, or until stability can be achieved,” J.D. Hickey, president of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, wrote.
In Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Aetna already said this year they no longer would sell plans in the individual market next year. That leaves just one insurer, Medica, as the only choice for Iowans living in 94 of the state’s 99 counties….