Obamacare insurance rates in IL expected to rise an average of 35%

The insurance commissioner for the state of Illinois announced that health insurance customers in the state will see premium increases average 35% in 2018.

Washington Free Beacon:

The four insurers serving the individual market in Illinois are Celtic Insurance Company, CIGNA HealthCare of Illinois, Health Alliance Medical Plans (HAMP), and Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). Humana has announced earlier this year it was leaving the Illinois exchange.

For Obamacare's lowest silver-plan, the four insurers are requesting a range of 15 to 43 percent in premium hikes, coming to an average of 35 percent.

A 21-year-old nonsmoker on the lowest cost silver-plan with Celtic Insurance can expect to see premiums of $315.33. For those with Cigna coverage, an individual in this category could expect to see a range of premiums of $448.97 to $344.23. Individuals with HAMP coverage can expect their premiums to go up from a range of $423.96 to $446.71. Those covered by HCSC can expect premiums to increase from a range of $358.46 to $520.94.

For those purchasing the second-lowest silver plan, the commissioner says many counties will see increases of more than 40 percent.

In October of last year, the Obama administration announced that premiums for 2017 would rise by double-digits. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, rate increases are a result of the increasing number of insurers experiencing losses on the exchanges.

"Years before the Trump administration came to office, Obamacare’s double-digit rate increases and onerous mandates have been squeezing the pocket books of the American people," a spokesperson at the Department of Health and Human Services said.

"Americans are once again facing skyrocketing costs and plummeting choices because of Obamacare’s fundamental failures," the spokesperson said. "Congress should bring relief to American families and end the Obamacare nightmare once and for all."

Are these rate increases going to be typical nationwide?  Those states with more insurance companies selling policies will see smaller increases, while those states where consumers have fewer options will probably see increases higher than an average of 35%.  The key, as in any market, is competition.  It's not rocket science.

The Republican bill that Congress may vote on next week does not address the lack of competition in many states.  And as the DHS spokesman points out, whatever uncertainty there is among insurance companies because Obamacare reform is up in the air pales in comparison to the fundamental and continuing flaws of Obamacare from the day it was implemented.  The reason Obamacare continues to fail is that insurance companies can't make money selling Obamacare policies. 

Until that issue is addressed, we will continue to see skyrocketing premium increases driving more and more people out of the market.

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