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Published On: Tue, Oct 25th, 2016

HHS confirms horrible Obamacare news: rising costs of 25%, fewer options as enrollment drops

News from the Obama adminstration’s Department of Health and Human Services on Obamacare is pessimistic news on top of horrible news, mixed with more bad news.

Premiums will go up sharply in 2017 and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.

Daily Wire notes that “Other states that will face premium increases of 50 percent at minimum include Tennessee, Alabama, Pennsylvania and Nebraska.”

Moreover, about 1 in 5 consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from, after major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna scaled back their roles.

photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

“Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period,” said Larry Levitt, who tracks the health care law for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

“The new numbers aren’t too surprising, said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who chairs a committee that oversees the law. It “does little to dispel the notion we are seeing the law implode at the expense of middle-class families.”

The vast majority of the more than 10 million customers who purchase through HealthCare.gov and its state-run counterparts do receive generous financial assistance. “Enrollment is concentrated among very low-income individuals who receive significant government subsidies to reduce premiums and cost-sharing,” said Caroline Pearson of the consulting firm Avalere Health

But an estimated 5 million to 7 million people are either not eligible for the income-based assistance, or they buy individual policies outside of the health law’s markets, where the subsidies are not available.

The total number of HealthCare.gov insurers will drop from 232 this year to 167 in 2017, a loss of 28 percent.

“So, enrollees may need to change doctors or drugs when they switch insurers,” Pearson said.

Enrollment has been lower than initially projected, and insurers say patients turned out to be sicker than expected. Moreover, a complex internal system to help stabilize premiums has not worked as hoped for.

Donald Trump calls for a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, while Hillary Clinton’s appear to cost the tax payers more: increasing the law’s subsidies and allowing more people to qualify for financial assistance.

photo TaxRebate.org.uk

photo TaxRebate.org.uk

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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