Obama Administration Calls On States To Push Back On Big Insurance Rate Increases
The move could set up a clash with insurers that say they lost money on policies sold on the health law's marketplaces. Some are seeking premium hikes of 10 to 40 percent or more. Meanwhile, Politico reports that states with thorough rate review processes are likely to see smaller rate increases.
The New York Times:
Obama Administration Urges States To Cut Health Insurers’ Requests For Big Rate Increases
Hoping to avoid another political uproar over the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration is trying to persuade states to cut back big rate increases requested by many health insurance companies for 2016. In calling for aggressive regulation of rates, federal officials are setting up a potential clash with insurers. Some carriers said they paid out more in claims than they collected in premiums last year, so they lost money on policies sold in the new public marketplaces. After finding that new customers were sicker than expected, some health plans have sought increases of 10 percent to 40 percent or more. (Pear, 8/3)
Insurance Premiums Rose More Modestly In Rate-Review States
States that have a thorough insurance rate review process are more likely to see lower premium increases in the individual market than other states. (Ehley, 8/3)
The New Jersey Record:
Affordable Care Costs May Rise In N.J.
Three insurers that sold health coverage this year to about 135,000 New Jersey residents through the federal Affordable Care Act are asking the state to approve double-digit price hikes for 2016. Price boosts also could be in the offing for the two other companies that participated in the HealthCare.gov marketplace set up by Obamacare, but there is no way to know because requests for increases under 10 percent don’t have to be disclosed in New Jersey until November. (Washburn, 8/3)
A quirk in the law may force thousands of federal retirees to pay higher Medicare premiums in 2016 than other beneficiaries -
The Washington Post:
Some Federal Retirees Could Face Extra-Large Jump In Medicare Premiums
Hundreds of thousands of federal retirees could pay higher Medicare premiums in 2016 than most other enrollees will pay due to a combination of low inflation and a quirk in the law. Most of those retired under the Civil Service Retirement System are excluded from a “hold harmless” provision that keeps an individual’s Medicare Part B premium steady if his or her Social Security benefit does not rise enough to cover the increase in those premiums. (Yoder, 8/4)