White House Confirms Steep 2016 Obamacare Premium Hikes
Report Highlights Need for Policy Solutions to Improve Industry Shortcomings
WASHINGTON, DC – The Obama administration said many consumers will see noticeable premium increases when buying health coverage on insurance exchanges in 2016, acknowledging for the first time what many health care experts had predicted. Federal officials said Monday that the price of the midrange “silver plans”—a key metric for premiums around the country—will increase by 7.5 percent on average across the three-dozen states that rely on Washington to administer the health insurance exchange for them. Oklahoma saw the highest increases, which were 35.7 percent.
Consumers should also beware of “skinny plans,” that offer lower premiums, but have no cap on how much the participant has to pay for hospital bills and other services.
“Premiums continue to skyrocket, while quality does not,” said Stacey L. Worthy, the Director of Public Policy for Aimed Alliance. “When family budgets are already stretched too thin, an increase in health insurance premiums can effectively put access out of reach for countless Americans who need it most. We must work to strengthen the Affordable Care Act to ensure it continues to live up to its name in providing full access to quality, affordable health care.”
Aimed Alliance, a not-for-profit organization working to improve health care in the United States, today highlighted the shortcomings of the current system and what must be addressed by both the next president and Congress. Aimed Alliance’s biggest concerns are:
• Quality – At least one quarter of Americans are underinsured and cannot access treatments prescribed to them due to insurers’ profit-maximizing cost-containment measures. Instead, they are relegated to trying out and failing on inferior treatments, a policy referred to as “fail first.”
• Efficiency – Overly restrictive policies, such as burdensome prior authorization, claims denials, and appeals processes, waste time, are costly, and must be eliminated.
• Ethics – To circumvent the ACA’s prohibition on denials of care for preexisting conditions, insurers place all medications that treat certain illnesses in the most expensive “specialty tier,” making treatments unaffordable for individuals with illnesses, such as cancer, hepatitis C, HIV, and rheumatoid arthritis, thereby deterring them from joining the plan in the first place.
• Transparency – Coverage rates and co-insurance for in-network and out-of-network services must be disclosed to allow for cost comparisons among insurers and providers, and to prevent surprise bills.
The Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine (Aimed Alliance) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve health care in the United States by supporting the development and utilization of novel, evidence-based treatments. For more information, visit http://www.aimedalliance.org and follow @Adoptinnovation on Twitter.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Stacey Worthy, Director of Public Policy at Aimed Alliance please contact Ryan Hughes with Shirley & Banister Public Affairs at Rhughes@SBPublicAffairs.com, (703) 739-5920 or (224) 723-8688.