Blue Cross Blue Shield requested a rate increase of 21.4% on its Marketplace plans offered in Georgia. On Tuesday, the Georgia state insurance department approved their request. The rate increase have many people crying foul since originally BCBS had requested a 15.1% increase.
Who is raising Obamacare rates ?
This increase falls on the heels of the announcement by Aetna that it would withdraw from 11 of the 15 state exchanges.
♦ Aetna’s announcement came after the Justice Department sued to block Aetna’s merger deal with Humana Inc.
BCBS was the only company to request a revised rate increase after the Aetna announcement.
♦ BCBS is expected to pick up 70 – 90,000 of Aetna’s Georgia members next year.
Patient advocates worry that with the loss of a major player like Aetna there will be a significant reduction in completion. That does seem to have played into BCBS’s decision to request such a high premium increase even though general health care costs have risen 7 to 9 percent.
♦ Most people do not understand who gives approval for such big rate increases.
The story gets muddled in politics with a lot of people believing states like Georgia that are controlled by Republicans will do all they can to accommodate the insurance industry while at the same time making it harder for Obamacare to succeed.
The truth is a bit more complicated.
If you wish to learn more about the rate approval process read the article titled: Who decides Obamacare rates?