Companies are hiking premiums for some customers by double digits - even after
the Obama administration's health care laws efforts to curtail rapid rise in
and people without employer aided insurance are the most susceptible.
California, proposes an increase of 22%, Anthem Blue Cross 26% and Anthem Blue
Shield 20%. Surprisingly the rate hikes follow a 39% increase by Blue Cross in
2010, which was the force behind the federal law known as 'Affordable Care Act'
which was passed 2 years back.
In states such as
Ohio and Florida, insurers have raised rates by at least 20% which amounts to
several hundred dollars a month.
According to the
Health Care Law, regulators will review all requests for increase in rates of
more than 10% - the requests are posted on a federal website - health.gov -
with the regulators evaluations.
process shows a disparity in the rates, demonstrating the prominent difference
in places like New York and California. In New York regulators wield the
authority to deny or decrease rates deemed excessive - not so in California.
New York used its
comprehensive powers and kept increases for small group markets and individuals
under 10% in 2013, while California does not have the power to deny rate
In recent years
the increase has been annually and in single digits due to weak economy. Price
Water House Coopers estimates a 7.5% increase in the next year.
regulators are of the opinion that the premium rates would be higher without the
law to set a limit on the profits and administration costs of the insurer.
The rates paid by
employers are monitored closely as compared to small businesses and
Reed Abelson - New York Times.