Health insurance rates on the rise

COLUMBUS, Ga. – This week, the Obama Administration announced an increase in premiums under the Affordable Care Act.  Georgia currently has nine health insurance carriers under the Affordable Care Act.

Starting at the end of 2016, four of those carriers will be leaving.  Cost increases are on the horizon for the remaining five carriers.

Harry Underwood’s first insurance policy he has had on is own is under Humana, which is in the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

“It worked well for getting me onto healthcare,” Underwood said.

Humana is one of the five remaining carriers in Georgia come 2017, but Humana’s rates will increase by 67.5 percent.  Underwood is looking to switch carriers.

“Especially because it’s harder here in Georgia than in say California or many other states that do have their own state insurance market places, which may be more affordable and accessible to more people in other states than it would be here to Georgia,” Underwood said.

Ida Rash with the Democratic Party says everything is fixable.

“We have to really start from the beginning and look at how many people does have insurance now.  Premiums go up not only for healthcare.  It goes up for any other cause including cars when we pay what we pay when we got insurance for that,” she said.

Rick Allen with the Republican Party thinks the Affordable Care Act was intended to fail from the beginning.

“It’s just playing out now the way they planned it.  It’s never been affordable and it’s getting completely unaffordable and most people are seeing their premiums go up substantially and the deductibles are tremendously high, too,” Allen said.

Underwood is in the process of looking for a new job.

“This is a good opportunity to look for more and to advocate for better healthcare coverage for not just more companies, but for this platform, the Affordable Care Act,” he said.

According to a government report, Premiums under the Affordable Care Act will rise an average of 22 percent across the nation for the benchmark silver plan next year.   The report says the increase for the benchmark silver plan will cost nearly $300 a month.

The hike is being blamed on insurers raising prices and pulling out of the exchanges.

Georgia’s open enrollment period begins Tuesday, November 1.  It runs through January 31 of next year.



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