Fort Wayne's Morning News

William Short - FWMN Interview 6/1/2016

June 1, 20165 min
Obamacare plan customers should brace for sticker shock when the administration posts insurers' preliminary rate requests for 2017 this week. Health plans are asking for sharp price increases, after suffering big losses on exchanges in the last two years. Regulators caution that these are preliminary requests and final rates could a lot different. Insurers cite rising drug costs and patients who utilize a lot of medical services for the price-hike requests, which range from 17 percent in New York, and more than 20 percent in Virginia, to 30 percent rate increase requests from Oregon's largest insurers. Bye-bye bronze plans? Consumers on the lowest-tier "bronze" plans could see some of the biggest jumps in prices if preliminary requests are ultimately approved. In some cases, insurers are abandoning the low-premium offering altogether. A unit of CareFirst Blue Cross in Virginia said it will transition all of its bronze plan members to mid-tier, or so-called silver, plans in 2017. The switch will mean a 70 perce

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