Aetna predicts major rate increases in 2014

Aetna Insurance

Aetna InsuranceAetna CEO forecasts future of rates for health insurance consumers

Health insurance continues to be a hot topic in the U.S., especially as 2014 approaches bearing the full weight of the Affordable Care Act. Last week, Aetna, the third largest health insurance provider in the U.S., held its annual investor conference in New York. During the conference, Aetna executives provided a wealth of information to the company’s investors concerning the insurance providers future plans and how it will adapt to the changing insurance landscape. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini offered a prediction concerning some health insurance markets that may be bad news for some consumers.

Some markets may see 100% increase in rates

Aetna executives have long held that the Affordable Care Act would significantly drive up the costs of health insurance coverage for consumers. During the investors conference, Bertolini reiterated this stance by claiming that policyholders in some markets should be prepared for “rate shock.” According to Bertolini, health insurance rates could see an increase of more than 100% in some markets. Bertolini notes that Aetna has run through numerous scenarios and that the insurer has shared its findings with regulators throughout the country, as well as federal lawmakers.

Provisions expected to drive up costs

The Affordable Care Act is filled with provisions that affect the country’s health insurance industry. One of these provisions, which is expected to increase the cost of coverage, is the minimum actuarial value, which compels insurance companies to provide financially generous coverage with lower deductibles and consumer-friendly co-pays. Aetna believes these provisions to be the primary reason behind the rising costs of health insurance coverage and many consumers may be unprepared to adapt.

Lawmakers so far unwilling to make changes to federal law

Aetna is not the only insurance company that is expecting higher rates the be born from the Affordable Care Act. Much of the health insurance industry is showing concern that the federal law will have a major impact on consumers. Currently, the law is set in stone and federal legislators have shown no interest in reducing the financial impact the Affordable Care Act may have.

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