Humana CEO predicts higher health insurance rates for consumers
Throughout the U.S., health insurance companies are issuing calls for consumers and businesses to prepare to pay higher rates for their coverage. Humana, one of the country’s leading health insurance companies, is the latest of these companies to become outspoken about the issue. According to Humana CEO Bruce Broussard, the implementation of the controversial Affordable Care Act will be a “bumpy road” for many and that consumers are the most likely to feel the effects that the health care law will have on the health insurance industry.
Healthier consumers expected to pay more for coverage
Broussard claims that his greatest concern regarding the Affordable Care Act is that consumers do not fully grasp the changes that will be made to their insurance premiums. Humana, along with several other insurers throughout the country, suggest that health insurance premiums for consumers between the ages of 21 and 29 could increase by an average of 40%. While this demographic will have access to government subsidies and other forms of financial assistance, the out-of-pocket costs associated with their health insurance coverage are likely to be significant.
Young consumers may abandon health insurance until they really need it
Younger, healthier people are going to pay more for their health insurance coverage than anyone else, according to Humana. This in itself may have a drastic impact on the insurance market. Because these consumers are so healthy, they may think that insurance is not a worthwhile investment and will drop their coverage entirely, despite federal law requiring them to carry such coverage. As young, healthy consumers evacuate the market, insurers will have to adjust rates on other policies, causing rates for less healthy individuals to rise as companies attempt to establish some balance in their business.
Uncertainty surrounds health insurance exchanges
Humana predicts that the Affordable Care Act will introduce major changes to the country’s health care system that consumers may not be prepared to deal with. The insurer has adopted a cautious approach to the provisions of the health care law in order to avoid any pitfalls that may exist in new health insurance regulations. Broussard notes that the rules governing the implementation of health insurance exchanges have not yet been fully released, so it is not yet certain whether these systems will have the beneficial impact on the market they are meant to.