Georgia’s healthcare system is struggling under federal uncertainty and instability.
When health insurers participating in Georgia’s Affordable Care Act exchange announced their requested premium rate increases for 2018 earlier this year, many were double-digit increases. But now, it looks like premium rates will go up even more than insurers initially requested.
On average, rates could be hiked by 57 percent, Marketplace reported.
MyAJC.com reported on Georgia’s Department of Insurance statement: “The amended rates are higher than those originally filed with this office. While outside actuaries are still reviewing the rates, it appears that in Obamacare’s fifth year, Georgians will experience another double-digit premium increase.”
To make matters worse, Blue Cross Blue Shield is also pulling out of the ACA marketplace in metro Atlanta and other urban areas in Georgia, and could step back in even more areas depending on how Washington officials proceed.
Insurers have been forced to hike prices for ACA individual plans because messaging and action from federal lawmakers has done nothing to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the healthcare law’s future. Numerous failed attempts to repeal the law, as well as statements from the president about discontinuing cost-sharing subsidies, only continue to stoke instability.
Meanwhile, Congress has also not approved funding for other healthcare programs—such as the Community Health Center, rural hospital subsidies, and PeachCare—which will impact many consumers in Georgia and could swamp the state budget if Georgia is forced to shoulder the burden. Until clarity is found and a decision is reached at the federal level, however, Georgians are struggling over more uncertainty.