Insurers Want to Raise Rates on ObamaCare Plans

Fresh problems for “Obamacare”: The largest health insurer in Texas wants to raise its rates on individual policies by an average of nearly 60 percent, a new sign that President Barack Obama’s overhaul hasn’t solved the problem of price spikes. (The New York Times)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has about 603,000 individual policyholders and, unlike other insurers in the state, offers coverage in every county. In a recent filing with federal regulators, a summary of which is available on HealthCare.gov, the company said it is seeking increases averaging from 57.3 percent to 59.4 percent across its individual market plans. (The Dallas Morning News)

In a statement, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said its request is based on strong financial principles, science and data. “It’s also important to understand the magnitude of the losses … experienced in the individual retail market over the past two years,” the statement said. The company says it lost $416 million in 2014 and $592 million last year. (CBS News)

Insurers in other big states also are requesting major rate hikes, suggesting that the average national rate hike for ObamaCare plans in 2017 may fall closer to 20% than 10%. Insurers in Florida recently requested a 17.7% rate hike, while Pennsylvania market participants are seeking a 24% increase. (Investor’s Business Daily)