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    Maryland’s Obamacare Insurers Request Rate Increases Up to 91% in 2019

    Maryland’s Obamacare Insurers Request Rate Increases Up to 91% in 2019

    Healthy people keep leaving. I don’t blame them!

    Want relief from high Obamacare premiums? You’re out of luck in Maryland where insurers have asked for a rate increase of up to 91% in 2019.

    The state’s health insurance commissioner called the rate increase a consequence of a “death spiral.”

    From The Washington Post:

    CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield requested an 18.5 percent increase on the HMO plans used by the vast majority of its individual-plan members — and a whopping, 91.4 percent increase on its PPO plans. Kaiser Permanente requested a 37.4 percent increase on its HMO plans. The average rate increase requested, across insurers and plans, was 30 percent.

    “We are at a place in the individual market where any increase at all creates stress in the marketplace,” said Alfred W. Redmer Jr., Maryland’s health insurance commissioner. “We have folks in Maryland that are struggling, that are trying to do the right thing — and they’re paying more for their health insurance than they are for their mortgage. While an 18 percent increase is better than last year, it’s still, in some cases, catastrophic if you’re the young family that has got to pay that 18 percent increase.”

    Healthy people are leaving the market in droves due to premium increases:

    He noted that in March 2017, there were 243,000 people enrolled in individual plans, and a year later, there are only about 211,000. He said those who dropped coverage were likely healthy people, whose premiums no longer help underwrite the costs of people who are heavy users of the health-care system.

    “My own opinion is, yes, I believe we’ve been in a death spiral for a year or two,” Redmer said. He added there is hope that the state’s efforts to stabilize the marketplace through a reinsurance fund would help provide relief to consumers.

    CareFirst chief executive Chet Burrell told WaPo that the company has seen “major, major losses, and the reason for that is the rates – as high as they have been and as steeply as they have increased – have simply not kept up with how costly it is to take care of the population.”

    Repeat after me: You cannot provide a product unless you make a profit! I know the word “profit” rattles the leftist ears, but that’s reality.

    Maryland isn’t the only state. A few days ago, two insurance companies in Virginia asked for a premium hike in 2019. From The Hill:

    Cigna is proposing an average premium increase of 15 percent for its 103,264 customers in Virginia, with a range of increases from 6.4 percent to 40 percent.

    CareFirst is proposing a 64 percent increase for its approximately 4,500 customers in the commonwealth, citing an increase in sicker people entering the marketplace.

    Of course, the Democrats and pro-Obamacare groups place blame on President Donald Trump and Republicans. From The Washington Examiner:

    Democrats charged that Republican policies such as the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate are leading to the rate increases. The repeal of the requirement that everybody have insurance goes into effect in 2019. Insurers are worried that it will take away a reason for younger and healthier people to get insurance.

    “Republicans know they own the skyrocketing healthcare costs, but instead of working in a bipartisan fashion to lower the costs, they actively undermined our healthcare system and made the problem worse,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

    No, Chuck. They know it’s wrong to force someone to buy something they do not want or need. Democrats made it worse by forcing Obamacare down our throats.

    Plus, when will they finally accept that medical care is expensive? As someone with numerous pre-existing conditions who is well versed in economics, I have accepted that I may be charged more and will spend a ton on medical care, especially with rheumatoid arthritis.

    Why should healthy people pay a high premium if they don’t need it? Why should they keep paying for a plan just so my premiums stay low? That’s not fair.


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    kjon | May 9, 2018 at 9:32 am

    The only way out is to Nationalize the healthcare system and accept the consequences. California is attempting to do just that. We will soon see the results.

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