Reality Check: Obamacare premiums rising in Ohio - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Reality Check: Obamacare premiums could rise in Ohio

(FOX19) -

"Even if you've got health insurance right now, look at what's happening with your premiums and look at the trend...it's gobbling up more and more of your paycheck." President Barack Obama, January, 2010.

That quote came down during a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio as the President sold the virtues of the Affordable Care Act.

Now, word from Ohio's Department of Insurance says that ACA premiums are going up by 11 percent for small businesses while individuals are going to have to shell out even more.

This year they are paying (on average) $332.58 per month, but next year individual premiums jump an average of 13 percent to $374.42.

Medical Mutual of Ohio, one of more than a dozen insurance companies on Ohio's healthcare exchange, has announced an 8 percent increase in premiums in 2015.

So why the jump?

"It's been widely publicized that the enrollment tended to be older than what insurers, including us, have price for," says Heather Thiltgen, VP for Individual Sales and Marketing. Also widely publicized is Obamacare's dependency on so-called "young invincibles;" younger, healthy people who pay into the system without having to rely on it.

Exact figures for how many of these young people are currently signed up in Ohio are not being released, but a Kaiser Family Foundation report says 40 percent of all enrollees need to be young and healthy to keep costs down.

If enrollment among young adults falls short, the total amount of premiums collected by insurers becomes less than total health care expenses. According to Medical Mutual, the spike in premiums isn't necessarily the start of a trend.  

"We don't know who's going to join next year. We don't know the impact of people moving over from group health insurance as well as those from non ACA plans," adds Thiltgen.

Meanwhile, there are other factors that drive up premiums, including growing healthcare costs, but the bottom line is this: The next open enrollment period starts in November, unless more young people sign up, Obamacare premiums are likely to continue to rise.

Note: This year's average monthly premiums do not include 186-million dollars in tax breaks from the federal government.

http://www.insurance.ohio.gov/Newsroom/Pages/05292014FederalExchangePremiums.aspx

http://www.healthpolicyreview.org/daily_review/2014/03/study-67k-ohioans-have-qualified-for-aca-tax-credits.html

http://kff.org/health-reform/perspective/the-numbers-behind-young-invincibles-and-the-affordable-care-act/

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR189.html

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/insurance/premiums/rate-review.html

 

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