Obamacare Affordability And Access Become Issues In Competitive Senate Campaigns
Politico reports that some of the steepest premium hikes requested by insurers are in swing states that could determine Senate control. Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune looks at the Department of Health and Human Services' guidance to consumers on the issue.
Obamacare Sticker Shock Hits Key Senate Races
As insurers push large premium increases for 2017 Obamacare plans, some of the steepest hikes have been requested by insurers in crucial swing states that could determine control of the Senate. In nine of 11 states with competitive Senate races, at least one insurer seeks to hike rates for Obamacare customers by at least 30 percent next year: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pennsylvania wants to jack up average premiums by more than 40 percent. In Wisconsin, three insurers have asked for rate hikes of more than 30 percent. In New Hampshire, two of the five carriers want to sell plans with rate increase above 30 percent. (Pradhan and Demko, 8/26)
Fewer Choices, Higher Prices Concerns As ACA Enrollment Period Looms
The Affordable Care Act enrollment period doesn't begin until November, but the recent departure of several health insurance providers from federal and state marketplaces is raising concerns of fewer choices and higher premiums. But federal officials emphasized that consumers will still have affordable coverage options during a Wednesday conference call. Even if insurance premiums increase by 25 percent, 60 percent of Indiana consumers would be able to purchase coverage for less than $75 per month, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Lazerus, 8/25)