Wellpoint CEO Says Obamacare Premiums 'Likely' to Double
In an interview with Modern Healthcare, Wellpoint CEO Joseph Swedish shored up a
March 19 report from The Hill’s Elise Viebeck that Obamacare premiums are set to double in some parts of the country.
If you recall, Viebeck received a barrage of criticism from left-wing media outlets accusing her of citing phantom sources in the health care industry and creating a "panic."
Ironically, in his attack on Viebeck, Ed Kilgore, senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and contributor at the Washington Monthly, cited Swedish as one of several health company CEO’s contradicting the author's assertion that Obamacare premiums would skyrocket next year.
Kilgore: And the “premiums to skyrocket” claim directly contradicts a variety of on-the-record assessments by health insurance executives—e.g., Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Wellpoint president Joe Swedish, and Cigna CEO David Cordani—that the Obamacare premium structure is working out relatively well.
Now, less than a month later, Swedish is in agreement with Viebeck. Even worse, the chief executive has had to indirectly admit Obama lied when he said his healthcare law would cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by $2,500.
From Modern Healthcare:
Swedish: The public commentary from us, as well as our peers, is that there will undoubtedly be remarkable price increases.
In terms of scale, we just don't know right now, and we're going to have to evaluate the membership we have secured through March 31, and then begin predicting what additional membership we might be able to pick up, beginning in the next cycle.
The reality is, with all the changes that occurred, there will be an uptick in premium costs.
Many of the prognosticators are claiming double digits. Is that true? We just don't know right now, but it does appear as if it's likely.
When asked about 2015 enrollment figures, Swedish is skittish about the future. The administration's numerous day-to-day rule changes have made it difficult to "hit the bulls-eye." There are "too many unknowns," he stated.