JUNE 11, 2014

Obamacare news: Arizona to see double-digit premium hikes

Two largest insurers in the state submitted requests to hike premiums by double digits
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PHOENIX – The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP-Arizona) responded today to the news that Arizona health insurance companies are proposing large increases in their premiums, laying the blame on President Obama’s increasingly problem-plagued health legislation.  

“With Cigna proposing an average premium increase of 14.4 percent and Humana requesting a 25.5 percent premium increase,” said AFP-Arizona director Tom Jenney, “it’s clear that for most Arizonans, Obamacare is not going to provide affordable health insurance anytime soon.”

In its statewide citizen education campaign this year, AFP-Arizona has worked to warn Arizonans that Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, is going to harm many of the people the legislation intended to help. 

“President Obama promised to lower premiums by $2,500 each year for the average family,” Jenney said. “But in order for Arizona citizens to maintain their mandatory health insurance, many are looking at major premium increases on top of higher deductibles and shrinking provider networks.  People are required to spend money they don’t have on health insurance mandates they don’t want.”

With large premium increases, it will be difficult for the Obamacare exchange in Arizona to maintain enrollment numbers, which have already fallen short of official expectations. That could accelerate what insurance economists call the “death spiral,” in which younger and healthier people refuse to sign up for exchange plans, causing the remaining insureds to pay higher and higher premiums until they also drop coverage. 

Researchers at the University of Minnesota recently found that the President's health insurance legislation will result in even higher prices in 2017, while failing to significantly reduce the number of uninsured in the long-term.  Although the researchers did not look specifically at Arizona, they found that the average cost nationwide of a silver plan on the exchanges is expected to increase by $1,375 for individuals and by $4,198 for families within the next five years.

AFP-Arizona encourages citizens to take action with the organization to put pressure on the members of the Arizona congressional delegation who continue to support Obamacare.  

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