The state officials concerned about the increasing Obamacare insurance premiums spoke about the issue on Capitol Hill this week and highlighted the fact that insurers are all set to implement two-digit rate increases that can dramatically skew costs. The pressure is now on the Congress members to take action quickly and effectively.
Insurance commissioners testify before committee
Insurance commissioners testified before the Senate Committee about the hikes in premiums proposed for the coming year. The commissioners who were present came from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alaska, and Pennsylvania, apart from Washington. The premium rate increases will be finalized in the coming weeks.
Alaska is one of the locations where premiums have soared up drastically since 2013. The data collected shows that there has been a 203% hike in premium rates since this period here. In Tennessee, the insurance premium rate may go up by 42% at maximum, which is expected. A minimum rise of 21% is likely to happen here.
Oklahoma insurance commissioner talks about federal government disinterest
In Oklahoma, the rates have been spiking at an equally alarming pace but nothing has been done about it, says the insurance commissioner. He pointed out that the federal government has effectively turned a blind eye to his caution about the rising rates. The commissioner went on to warn that an imminent collapse of the individual health insurance segment is very likely in Oklahoma. He also pointed out that there has been a sharp fall in the number of insurers here and this has left individuals with very few choices, further complicating the issue. The situation has become so bad that when compared with the 5 insurers to choose from in 2014, now there is only one in Oklahoma that the residents are forced to pick. The Tennessee insurance commissioner also highlighted a lack of competition in this segment as a concern.
Lawmakers under pressure to revamp Obamacare
The testimonies have only served to underline the kind of pressure that lawmakers are under, right now, to bring about a quick revamp of the Affordable Care Act. Insurance companies are required to submit policy rates by September 20th and these are the rates that will apply in the coming year. Given the indication that most insurers are planning rate hikes to a significant degree, it is up to Congress to bring in some mechanism to control this trend.