For the last six years, despite fewer choices and higher prices for many working families, Democrats have tried to put a big smiley face on the health care law known as ObamaCare.
However, as has happened nearly every year since the law has been passed, premiums are expected rise again next year—by double digits.
What’s worse, at least for Democrats, is that the price increases are expected to be announced one week before the November elections, according to Politico.
The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare.
But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.
Just a week after the nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealth Group, pulled out of most Obamacare exchanges because it anticipates $650 million in losses this year, Aetna’s CEO said Thursday that his company expects to break even, but legislative fixes are needed to make the marketplace sustainable.
“I think a lot of insurance carriers expected red ink, but they didn’t expect this much red ink,” said Greg Scott, who oversees Deloitte’s health plans practice. “A number of carriers need double-digit increases.” [Emphasis added.]
With United Healthcare’s exit from the ObamaCare exchanges, costs increases for the remaining insurers will, by necessity, increase as those remaining insurers will be picking up the sicker, more costly patients left by United’s departure.
In some markets, there will only be one insurer left, reports the Daily Signal.
With UnitedHealthcare’s decision to leave 26 exchanges, consumers in the affected states could find themselves with only one option when searching for coverage for 2017.
According to an analysis conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, UnitedHealthcare’s departure could lead to a drop from two insurers to one in 29 percent of the 1,855 counties where the company sold coverage.
For voters, many of whom will be hearing this information one week before the November election, the likelihood of taking their frustrations out on the party that enacted ObamaCare becomes all the more concerning for Democrats.