Health insurance cost increases: The fuller story | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Health insurance cost increases: The fuller story

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 11:52 AM

Republicans such as Sen. Tom Cotton are chortling about a "25 percent increase" in health insurance rates. But wait. That's not exactly — not nearly — true.

Talking Points Memo explains:

This average increase is for individual purchasers, only about 7 percent of the market. Insurance provided by employers covers the biggest number in the market (49 percent, while 34 percent have Medicare or Medicaid) and rates in that sector are rising lower than has been customary. Also, federal subsidies will reduce the impact of increases for those who are affected.

It is simply not correct to say flatly that insurance rates in the U.S. have risen 25 percent. They haven't.

Obamacare needs some fixes. They wouldn't be hard to do, if not for Republicans in Congress who'd still rather we put millions of people back into the ranks of the uninsured.

Arkansas continues to beat targets for its private option version of the Medicaid expansion and the blended version of the insurance marketplace. Insurers in Arkansas are talking about 10 percent rate increases, not counting subsidies that offset consumer costs.

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