America, get ready for “massive” health insurance premium increases next year, courtesy of ObamaCare: That’s the message of a new report from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Consumers purchasing health insurance on the individual market may face premium increases of nearly 100 percent on average, with potential highs eclipsing 400 percent,” the report claims. Businesses, it says, will face smaller but still quite significant rate hikes as well.
This is not simply political grandstanding from the Republican-run panel. The report is based on data provided to the committee by 17 of the nation’s largest insurance companies, who ought to know better than anyone else how much premiums are likely to rise when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is fully implemented in January.
That full implementation, the committee argues, is the main cause of the expected rate hikes:
As the documents provided by the insurers indicate, the primary reason costs will increase is that the PPACA requires insurers to provide increased services and benefits while, at the same time, it limits their ability to charge consumers based on age or health status. The minimum coverage requirements will increase premiums for those who had previously purchased less robust coverage, while “the infusion of less healthy individuals into the risk pool” will compound premium increases. While the end of gender rating may decrease premiums for younger women, other populations including older women and men will see rates go up even with narrower age rating bands. Meanwhile, insurers’ inability to offer younger and healthier individuals lower priced plans will result in dramatic premium increases for young adults.
Individuals buying insurance on their own rather than obtaining it through their employers will take the biggest hit.
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