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It’s Not Good News When Americans Are Finding Out That Their Premiums Are Increasing

- March 21, 2013

When Asked About Double-Digit Health Insurance Premium Increases, Health And Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Responded That What She Is Seeing Is "Pretty Good News." MSNBC'S MIKE BARNICLE: "That phrase let's see what's coming, despite all the elements of progress that you've mentioned. There have been in some states, California specifically and a few other states, companies like Aetna, Blue Cross, raising their insurance rates sometimes as high as 20 percent, 25 percent. There's a fear out there with some people with private health insurance like Aetna that their rates in their states, their own private plans are going to raise. Why have the rates risen and will they rise even further?" HHS SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: "Mike, I think what we're seeing actually again is pretty good news. I'm a former insurance commissioner so I used to watch this day in and day out." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 3/21/13)

Obama Has Failed To Deliver Lower Health Care Premiums As Americans Face Double-Digit Increases

As A Candidate, Obama Promised That His Health Care Reform Would Save American Families $2,500 By The End Of His First Term. OBAMA: "If you are ready for change, then we can stop talking about the outrage of 47 million people without health insurance and start doing something about it. I've put forward a plan that says everybody will have the same health care if they want it that I have as a member of Congress, that you can't be excluded for pre-existing conditions, we'll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available prices. If you're 25 or younger you can stay on your parents' health insurance. If you've got health insurance, we're going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2500 per family per year. And we will not wait 20 years from now to do it or 10 years from now to do it. We will do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States of America." (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Columbus, OH, 2/27/08)

Some Small Group Policies In Washington, D.C., Illinois, Pennsylvania, And Connecticut Will See Double Digit Increases This Year. "Premiums for small group policies from CareFirst BlueChoice in the District will rise an average of 11.8 percent after April 1. The price of an Aetna small group plan in Illinois will jump 13 percent in 2013 and 16.5 percent in Pennsylvania. A small group policy from Anthem in Connecticut will increase 13.8 percent this year, too." (Jennifer Haberkorn, "Insurers' 2014 Hikes Already Taking Toll," Politico, 1/11/13)

A Federal Study Produced By Health And Human Services (HHS) Found That 36 Percent Of The Insurance Industry's "Requests To Raise Rates By 10 Percent Or More Were Found To Be Reasonable." "According to the federal analysis, 36 percent of the requests to raise rates by 10 percent or more were found to be reasonable." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurers Raise Some Rates By Double Digits," The New York Times, 1/5/13)

  • Insurers In States Like Florida And Ohio Have Raised Premiums "At Least 20 Percent" Which "Amount To Several Hundred Dollars A Month." "In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders. The rate increases can amount to several hundred dollars a month." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurers Raise Some Rates By Double Digits," The New York Times, 1/5/13)
  • Three Health Insurance Companies In California Are Requesting Premium Increases Upwards Of 20 Percent. "In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers' filings with the state for 2013." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurers Raise Some Rates By Double Digits," The New York Times, 1/5/13)

The Obama Administration Has Approved "Three Rate Hikes Of At Least 20 Percent." "HHS approved premium rate hikes of 26 percent in Alaska, 23.3 percent in Florida and 20.4 percent in Washington state, according to decisions posted on an HHS website. That's after approving a hike of 18 percent for a Montana insurer in November." (Jason Millman, "HHS Approves Rate Hikes Over 20 Percent," Politico, 2/24/12)

  • HHS Admitted That The Higher Rates Approved Were So Insurance Companies Could Comply With ObamaCare. "The rate increase, HHS explained, was the result of the insurer adjusting to benefit changes required by federal law." (Jason Millman, "HHS Approves Rate Hikes Over 20 Percent," Politico, 2/24/12)

The Obama Administration Has Approved "Three Rate Hikes Of At Least 20 Percent." "HHS approved premium rate hikes of 26 percent in Alaska, 23.3 percent in Florida and 20.4 percent in Washington state, according to decisions posted on an HHS website. That's after approving a hike of 18 percent for a Montana insurer in November." (Jason Millman, "HHS Approves Rate Hikes Over 20 Percent," Politico, 2/24/12)

  • HHS Admitted That The Higher Rates Approved Were So Insurance Companies Could Comply With ObamaCare. "The rate increase, HHS explained, was the result of the insurer adjusting to benefit changes required by federal law." (Jason Millman, "HHS Approves Rate Hikes Over 20 Percent," Politico, 2/24/12)

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