Report: Insurance Premiums Could Increase By 95 Percent in 3 Years

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

That's what California's insurance marketplace says.

A combination of factors mostly stemming from Republican meddling are expected to increase health insurance premium by anywhere from 35 to 95(!) percent over the next three years depending on which state you live in.

And here's the not-at-all funny but still amusing part: the most "catastrophic" increases will be seen in states that voted for Trump.

The nationwide analysis, issued Thursday by California’s insurance marketplace, finds wide variations state to state, with a broad swath of the South and parts of the Midwest in danger of what the report calls “catastrophic” average rate increases by 2021.

According to the analysis, the largest single impact will come from eliminating, starting in 2019, the ACA’s penalty for Americans who violate the law’s requirement that most people in the United States carry health coverage. That change alone, part of a massive tax bill Congress adopted in December, can be expected to increase premiums by 7 to 15 percent next year, depending on the state, and as much as 10 percent each of the following two years. [...]

“The effect is going to be: The individual market will be poor people who get subsidies and sick people who buy no matter what,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California, a state-run ACA marketplace that sponsored the analysis. “And the middle class will be priced out of insurance in about a third of America.”

The creation of an alternative health care system in America is certainly not inevitable even if the worst projections come true, but it seems to me Republicans are making alternatives such as an expanded Medicaid or "Medicare for all" program the only plausible solution.

Republicans could have cooperated and passed legislation aimed at stabilizing the market, lowering premiums, and securing access to private health insurance for many years to come, but I think they've blown it. They've made a public option the only politically plausible option.

Even if it's proposed with the best intentions, I'm skeptical that the electorate will entertain any future campaign to patch our private health insurance system. By that point, it may even be too late if premiums have already increased by 95 percent or more.

Short of completely dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have done everything they can to roll back time to put the nation in the same position we were in a decade ago if not worse.

Major companies like Amazon and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway have partnered to create their own administrator for employees because the cost of health care is strangling the economy and it's only going to get worse.

  • muselet

    This is unsurprising news. It’s what insurance companies were warning the whole time the Rs were trying to make people suffer and (likely) die prematurely.

    I expect every Righty politician and commentator will focus on the source of this analysis—the socialistical hellhole that is California!—and ignore the analysis itself. I also expect every reliable R voter to blame the hated Obamacare and the dastardly Demonrats for health insurance premiums spiking.

    The Ds need to push for national health insurance, and hard. Lives depend on it.


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  • Aynwrong

    “And here’s the not-at-all funny but still amusing FUCKING HILARIOUS part: the most “catastrophic” increases will be seen in states that voted for Trump.”

    I’m sorry, I am usually a very charitable person. To a fault according to my brother, who likes to refer to me as a bleeding heart. For Trump voters however the reservoir is dry. This is what they wanted in the White House. These are the results they were warned of. Repeatedly. Their desire to harm others who were not like them, their utter refusal to put their country’s needs ahead of their petty grievances has led directly to this, and it’s not as though they are the only ones affected by this madness. But I guess they’re first in line. Say ahhh, geniuses.


  • Badgerite

    Good post. Right on the money in terms of long term prediction, I’m guessing. Time for the Democrats to embrace this.
    There is no other option for the country if we care about the people.

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    • We Two

      There is one other option, but it isn’t very pleasant.

      • Badgerite

        The option I meant was a healthcare system based on Medicare for all.