Texas’ largest health insurance provider is aiming to raise rates by as much as 60 percent in 2017, another example of how the Affordable Care Act is anything but.
In a statement yesterday, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas announced they had filed for a rate increase of as much as 59.35% from current rates due to huge revenue losses.
“That’s to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets,” writes the Dallas Morning News.
The company says it’s lost over a billion dollars.
“It’s also important to understand the magnitude of the losses … experienced in the individual retail market over the past two years,” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said, reporting $592 million lost in 2015 and $416 million in 2014.
An insurance broker speaking with the Morning News said the increase may encourage many to go without insurance.
“This is going to be a very big disrupter of the market,” said Financial Partners representative Kelly Fristoe. Healthy people “would probably be willing to roll the dice and take their chances,” she stated, despite them incurring a “shared responsibility” tax.
A representative for the Kaiser Family Foundation, Larry Levit, said the company’s losses may motivate them to implement the increase.
“Given how much money [the company] lost, it’s likely that a substantial rate increase is merited,” Levitt stated.
According to the Morning News, the Obama administration “said concerns about 2017 premiums are premature and overblown.”
“Consumers will have the final word when they vote with their feet during open enrollment,” a statement from the Health and Human Services Department said.
Amid news of Blue Cross’ request, presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed in laying the blame for the increased healthcare costs on the Obama administration.
A 60% increase in Texas Blue Cross/Blue Shield through ObamaCare. I told you so, there is panic and anger as healthcare costs explode!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
“I told you so, there is panic and anger as healthcare costs explode!” Trump tweeted Thursday evening.