With many health insurers already scaling back—or vacating—state exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”), companies that plan on continuing to offer coverage may start charging members more for the “privilege” of being insured soon. Insurance industry projections show that many states could see jumps of 20% or so, while plan members in Pennsylvania and Georgia could see premiums go up by more than a third next year. Initially, 23 health insurance co-ops were constructed under the ACA; today, there are only 10. It’s debatable how much individual households will be affected directly, as the ACA guarantees federal funds be made available to cover higher costs, largely insulating consumers. That still means additional burden on the overall health system, however. Insurers say they’re being forced to raise their prices due to “unforeseen” expenses associated with covering more individuals under ACA. The cost increases could force both consumers and insurers to seek more cost-efficient care, such as that offered by urgent care (especially compared with costs associated care in emergency rooms).
With Less Competition, ACA Insurers Plan Major Price Increases