Affordable Care Act spurs insurers to raise rates
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, health insurance companies have been warning of a nationwide rate increase that could introduce new financial pressures to consumers throughout the U.S. Insurers claim that the provisions of the health care law are responsible for the possibility of higher rates. The law requires insurance companies to take more aggressive measures on the types of coverage they provide, the administration of the companies themselves, as well as expand the eligibility of insurance coverage. These provisions effectively make it more expensive for insurers to do business, thus breeding the need for higher rates.
Health care law leading to rate increases of 20% or more
Per the Affordable Care Act, insurers are predicting health insurance in several states will jump by an average of 20%, though rates are also expected to exceed this percentage by more than double. California is included in the states expected to see significant rate increases. This has California legislators quite upset, with the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, decrying the federal health care law.
California Insurance Commissioner takes issue with federal law
Earlier this month, Commissioner Jones announced that Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, and Blue Shield of California, were planning to raise rates on their policies by an average of 10.6%. The rate increases are expected to affect up to 250,000 people throughout the state. State regulators were able to mitigate further rate increases because of the authority they have over the health insurance industry. In the past, Commissioner Jones has blamed insurance companies for rate hikes, but now the Commissioner suggests that the fault lies with the Affordable Care Act itself.
Jones decries law for not providing adequate authority to regulators
Commissioner Jones is decrying the Affordable Care Act, claiming that the health care law introduces a wide range of provisions but no rules that could mitigate their impact on consumers. Jones notes that the law allows state regulators to review rate hikes coming from health insurance companies, but does not give them the authority to reject these rate hikes outright. Jones has been fighting for years to gain this authority from the California Legislature, but has found only modest success in this endeavor.