Health Insurance Premiums Skyrocket

The Affordable Health Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare,”  was supposed to contain rising health care costs, in particular the cost of health insurance. At least so far, it is failing rather miserably in that effort.

Health insurance costs are skyrocketing at a time when health care costs themselves are increasing much more modestly.

It’s possible that the insurance companies are deliberately gouging because they know that the Affordable Health Care Act will take effect next year and it might curb their ability to raise premiums as much as they’d like. Or maybe the new law is failing in one of its stated goals.

All we know for sure is that these huge increases in the costs of health insurance are going to make it difficult or even impossible for some people to comply with the law’s requirement that every citizen buy health coverage. How exactly is a minimum wage worker supposed to do this? For that matter, how is anyone who works for a living supposed it afford it?

We’re talking about premium hikes that amount to hundreds of dollars a month. I have group insurance, but if I didn’t, I would be hard-pressed to come up with an extra few hundred dollars a month in my already tight budget. Wouldn’t you? How are people supposed to put a roof over their heads and food on their tables, provide for their daily needs, save for their retirement, pay for our hugely over-priced higher education and pay these premiums? Wages, in case you haven’t noticed, have actually been falling for a long time.

The Affordable Health Care Act contains some good things. But the major thing we’ve seen from it so far has been a direct government attack on religious liberty. These skyrocketing insurance rates are just the cherry on top all that goodness.

Hopefully, there is better news about the Affordable Health Care Act and what it does for people instead of to them in the future.

A Mail Online article describing the insurance rate hikes says in part:

Obamacare fails to stop health insurance rates

from skyrocketing by double digits…despite

claims it would make health care cheaper

By JAMES NYE The Mail Online

Health insurance companies across the country are attempting to increase their premiums for customers by over 25 percent – even though Obamacare was introduced to stem the rising cost of health care

At risk from the rising rates are small businesses and those who do not have their health care plan offered by their employer and are left to find their own insurance.

In California, Anthem Blue Cross wants to hike the cost of their premiums by 26 percent and in Florida and Ohio, some insurers want to raise their prices by at least 20 percent – leaving customers several hundred dollars a month worse off.

People participate in a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2012. The law was approved by the court but insurance costs are still rising for somePeople participate in a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2012. The law was approved by the court but insurance costs are still rising for some

The proposed increases in the health care costs compare with only four percent for families and individuals who have plans offered through their jobs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, which will not be fully enacted until 2014, regulators are now required to review any request to raise a rate by more than 10 percent and to publish their findings on

The review process also lays bare the disparity nationally in health care costs, with 37 states, such as New York able to deny or reduce rates, while others such as California do not have that power.

For example, in 2013, the state legislature of New York used its powers to hold rate increases to under 10 percent, but in California, rate reviews are only for technical errors.

Health Insurance companies have argued that the rising cost of premiums reflect the rising cost of healthcareHealth Insurance companies have argued that the rising cost of premiums reflect the rising cost of healthcare

However, despite the double-digit increases, the overall market shows that health care costs appear to have slowed in recent years.

Nationwide, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that health care costs will increase by 7.5 percent next year.

Read more:–despite-claims-make-health-care-cheaper.html#ixzz2HLzsn91F
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  • Kathryn

    I cannot afford this! My husband and I have paid for our family’s individual coverage now for 5 years. Every year the premiums rise and every year we have to reduce our coverage and take higher deductibles just to be able to pay each month. We are in our early thirties and have responsibly kept ourselves insured even though we are relatively healthy and many people in our situation would decide to spend their money on something other than insurance premiums ,I’m sure. I really don’t know how we will absorb such a steep increase. I wish that we used a cash system to pay for medical care and only had insurance for catastrophic situations-like accidents or serious conditions like cancer. Prices would go down. Doctors and hospitals charge the insurance companies higher prices than cash-paying customers- this is a clue to where the problem may lie.

  • Sus

    We are self-employed so self-insured without a group. It’s astonishingly expensive. We got a notice in November that the premium is going DOWN $140 a month starting Jan 2013. There wasn’t an explanation with the notice. It’s the first time in 16 years that the bill hasn’t increased.

    In the past, I’ve been very resentful of how much goes out each month for insurance. I even tried to talk my husband into reducing our benefits in order to free up a little cash. We could have a couple of fancy vacations plus a few weekends away with what the premium cost.

    That feeling of resentment is gone now because one diagnosis of cancer would completely wipe us out financially. We’d lose everything for one illness. I’m extremely grateful to my husband that he didn’t listen to me. My cancer cost my insurance company $350K. Aside from our premiums it cost us about $3200 for co-pays, prescriptions, gas, tolls and parking.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Sus, is your cancer in remission? I am so glad you could get good health care when you needed it! Kudos to husband.

      • Sus

        Thankfully, I’m cancer free. It’s been almost 4 years, Praise God.

        I had to eat my ranting words about insurance premiums after my experience. I’m very thankful that my husband is as fiscally responsible as he is. The medical care I received was top-notch. Whatever I needed was done with zero hassle. Even now, the follow up care is excellent.

        My experience is why I am almost psychotic about insurance.

  • Anna Dawson

    Yeah this is super. My husband has a good job (I’m a stay-at-home mom of three) but we can just barely afford insurance for the two of us alone. The kids are already on Medicaid, with our oldest getting ready to age out in February. The jump to add him to our insurance will be hundreds of dollars a month for a family who’s already stretched to the limit–and not because of credit cards or that crap (we don’t use them because they’re a trap IMHO), but constant health crises that come up: in the last five years, three high-risk pregnancies followed by stays in Maternity *and* Cardiac ICU, a week’s stay in NICU, cardiac defibrillator placement, open heart surgery and pacemaker placement on the baby, cancer treatment and surgery, all this in addition to a couple of ER trips and a smattering of PCP visits. We need our insurance–we sure as heck use it–but it’s getting prohibitive and I don’t see it getting any easier.

  • Peg

    I’m a state employee in a state with the lowest state salaries of all 50 states. Our legislators keep studying compensation relief to no avail. We finally got a raise this election year after years…2 pct at fiscal year and 2 pct on anniversary date. Our insurance premiums went up 9 pct the deductibles 25 pct. Our agency is self insred which means big deals when directors retire but higher costs than other state employees.

    Families can’t make it. Many of our staff qualifies for WIC. Now are payroll taxes are going up too–this is crazy…wouldn’t Clinton’s single payer plan have been better? I thought so at the time but wasn’t prolife then so don’t know if there were moral issues there. People shouldn’t lose everything over one illness.

  • Manny

    These need to be put side by side:

    Health Insurance Premiums Skyrocket/Affordable Health Care Act

    A perfect example of an oxymoron. Obamacare = Failure. I don’t know when, but Oama’s ratings are going to nose dive. Perhaps by the summer.

    • Sus

      Manny, what should Obama have done with the healthcare issue?

      • Dave

        Manny will have his answer. Mine is either leave it alone, or (and yes, this is radical) cut the insurance companies out of the game. I suspect this was not done because there would be a lot of jobs lost, but if the problem is to be fixed, I think that would have to be the first step. All the insurance companies do is add another layer of profit-taking into the system. The doctors make profit, big pharma makes profit, the healthcare companies themselves profit, the lawyers profit (malpractice) Add all of these layers of profiteering together and you get unaffordable healthcare. The easiest to remove are the insurance companies, and reform is needed on the malpractice element as well.

        • Sus

          Leaving it alone means that people healthcare would continue to be out of reach to people. It would mean that I won’t be able to get insurance coverage because I’ve had cancer. It’s hard for me personally knowing women that have died because either they didn’t have insurance or their insurance coverage ran out.

          How could people afford medical treatment without insurance?

          I think reform is needed on the malpractice element too.

          • Dave

            I’m not sure that Obamacare is really helping health care to become in reach of people. I realize that is the purported goal, but is it really helping? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but early returns don’t seem good. After staying about the same for 5 years straight, my health care plan got a lot worse this year. Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. I still have pretty good health care, but if the same thing that happened to me is happening to other people, it can’t be good. My preferred option would have been for each state to come up with a program…then a few states would have come up with good programs, and other states would have ended up copying them.