SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
Obamacare rate hikes may approach 300 percent in some instances
The Affordable Care Act will have a significant and dramatic impact on the pocket books of anyone who purchases health insurance
BOHEMIA, New York – Health insurance policy holders across the country can expect letters from their providers notifying them of "staggering" rate increases, some even approaching 300 percent, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
Weber noted that officials in Florida, Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina and Kentucky say they expect rates to increase by averages of 35 percent to 80 percent or more.
But at least one major health insurance provider has notified policy holders that their premiums may skyrocket due to Obamacare. One Kentucky family received a letter stating that its premium would increase by nearly 300 percent.
An actuary for Humana told the Kentucky Department of Insurance in a rate filing last month that clients could expect premium increases as high as 80 percent under Obamacare, according to news reports. But the company sent letters this month warning policy holders in the state of the Affordable Care Act rate hikes-including one advising a senior AMAC executive Andrew Mangione, who is a long-time client and resident of Louisville, that he can expect the rate on his family's policy to increase from $333 to $965 per month.
"It's not Humana's fault, they are being forced to go along with the program, what bothers me is that we were told our premiums would go down and that we could keep our policies. It looks like we were lied to," Mangione said.
A spokesman for the Humana, Mitchell Lubitz, said that the rate increases vary by the individual and reflect "the costs necessary to bring a plan into compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Right now, all of our policies are ACA-compliant (i.e. - they all include 100 percent coverage of preventative services and contraceptive coverage), but ACA requires additional essential health benefits beginning on January 1, 2014. Essential health benefits, which are divided into 10 categories, are mandated for individual and small group health plans in 2014. Based on the health reform law, costs must be spread over all ages and genders, and the rates in 2014 reflect the expected costs of those services."
Lubitz did not say how many rate increase letters were sent to policy holders across the country, but said that 6,000 such notifications were sent to clients in the state of Kentucky.
Humana, which is headquartered in Louisville, is one of the nation's largest health insurance providers with more than 11 million customers nationwide. Shortly after he took the reins at Humana last Spring, CEO Bruce Broussard told reporters: "I think the communication of the reform has been around the expansion of the coverage. But I do not see a real, large conversation around what the impact is on the public."
Weber commented that the notification Mangione received shows that Obamacare "is going to have a significant and dramatic impact on the pocket books of anyone who purchases health insurance."