States Approving Soaring Healthcare Premiums As Obamacare Struggles

Date: October 19, 2016

Several States Are Boosting Insurance Costs To Shore Up Insurers Due To Burdensome Healthcare Law

A new USA Today analysis provides further insight into the struggles Obamacare has caused for states and insurers alike. The analysis indicates that several state insurance regulators “have approved health care premium increases higher than those requested by insurers, despite a national effort to keep rates for policies sold” through Obamacare insurance exchanges “from skyrocketing.” In Pennsylvania, for instance, regulators approved a rate that was 8 percentage points higher than what insurers sought. Charles Gaba, a health data expert at, said “part of regulators’ jobs is to keep insurance companies solvent so they can continue to give people insurance.” Meanwhile, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt suggested that premiums for many Obamacare plans were set too low initially, adding, “In retrospect, life would have been a lot better and easier if things had started 10% higher, the rate increases had been higher and it had been just a smooth steady climb.” The Wall Street Journal reports the high premium increases approved by state insurance regulators for Obamacare plans underscore the challenges the healthcare law is currently facing. The article points out that while a majority of consumers who purchase coverage through Obamacare exchanges qualify for Federal subsidies, about 9 million of them are ineligible.

What This Means For Small Businesses

The NFIB’s latest quadrennial Small Business Problems and Priorities report recently highlighted the key concerns of small business owners. At the top of the list was soaring healthcare costs that are a direct result of the burdensome Obamacare mandate. This latest news that some states are adjusting insurance prices even above what insurers request in order to help maintain profit levels further demonstrates how ineffective, and harmful, Obamacare continues to be for insurers and insured alike.

Additional Reading

Money identifies eight states where health insurance premiums under Obamacare are soaring by at least 30 percent.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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