Georgia's insurance commissioner - Ralph Hudgens had declared there would be "Massive rate hikes" under the Federal Affordable Care Act. Hudgens is a strong opponent of the Affordable Care Act and said he had agreed to the rates of July 31st since the federal government did not grant an extension of their deadline.
"Obamacare will inflict substantially higher health insurance costs on Georgia consumers," Hudgens declared.
AdvertisementBill Custer, a Georgia State University insurance expert is of a different opinion. According to him the rates were the same as proposed by the insurers earlier. "There are clearly not major rate increases for most people who currently have individual coverage," Custer said. "They look like group coverage."
Also with many people qualifying for subsidy the cost of the premiums would definitely be even lower. Custer felt that Hudgens had only looked at some specific examples for rate increase. "Certainly some people will pay more because they can't buy the same coverage," Custer said. But overall he doesn't see a surge in premiums.
Currently, rates that Georgians are paying for individual policies are not publicly available. "Nobody knows what the current average rate in the individual market is because each policy is priced for the individual," Custer said. Earlier this year Hudgens had said that people around 35 years of age would see a hike of more than 100%, middle-aged people would see up to 100% and older people would face a hike of 40%.
Hudgens said in a recent statement in response to Custer's conclusions: "The Obamacare exchange rates, which were justified by independent actuaries, will substantially increase health insurance costs for many Georgians. Although not all Georgians will receive federal subsidies, one thing is certain: there is no such thing as a free lunch. All of us will pay for the Obamacare subsidies in the form of higher taxes in the years to come."
There are approximately 600,000 citizens covered in the individual market in Georgia and according to Custer 372,000 were the projected number to enroll in the exchange - with subsidies making the cost more affordable.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
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