Obamacare premium increases are now depleting the pockets of California’s health exchange participants faster than California is losing water. As of next year, Californians can expect their health premiums to increase an average of 13.2%. This hike is more than three times that of the last two years increase and is sure to have a devastating effect on more than one million Californians.
Increasing medical costs and expiring federal programs that help insurers offset costs are causing some of the nation’s largest insurers to either significantly raise their rates or pull out of exchanges. The nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealth, has already announced that it is pulling out of Covered California after only one year in the exchange due to insurmountable losses.
Just as concerning, two of California’s largest insurers—Blue Shield of California and Anthem Inc.—will have the biggest premium increases. Blue Shield and Anthem are two of the top four insurers that control more than 90 percent of Covered California enrollment. Blue Shield’s premiums are set to rise by more than 19 percent, and Anthem’s by more than 16 percent. Their high enrollment rates and soon to be higher premium rates will surely affect a significant portion of California families and pose significant concern to them.
When Obama was touting his Obamacare law, he promised he would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium.” Clearly, this is not the case.
High premium rates aren’t the only problem with the Covered California exchange. Earlier this year, nearly 2000 pregnant women were dropped from Covered California due to “computer glitches”. This isn’t the first report of people inexplicably being dropped from the exchange—it has been an ongoing issue since its launch. Enrollment and tax-related errors have plagued the exchange, leaving some with an unforeseen bill or without coverage for months.
With the $1.1 billion California was granted by the federal government for its exchange, there is no excuse as to why the exchange should be “accidentally” dropping pregnant women or others without coverage. To top it off, the exchange currently faces an $80 million deficit.
The Covered California exchange is far from successful and is only indicative of the further failed Obamacare law.