Edit ModuleShow Tags

Up To 54 Percent Rate Increases In LA Next Year Under Affordable Care Act

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Rate increases have been posted for "Obamacare" plans offered by three health insurers in Louisiana, with Blue Cross and Blue Shield boosting rates as much as 41 percent on average for 2017, although some customers may see premiums skyrocket by 54.7 percent.

         State Department of Insurance records show Vantage Health Plan is implementing a 31.5 percent increase and Humana an average increase of 29.5 percent.

         The Advocate’s Ted Griggs reports the increases don't mean everyone will pay more for coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers who make between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for financial assistance. Those subsidies increase as health premiums go up.

         Enrollment for 2017 plans started Tuesday and ends Jan. 31.

         Blue Cross currently covers 134,000 people in the state; Vantage Health, 42,000 people; and Humana, 30,991 people under the Affordable Care Act plans.

         In Louisiana, 81 percent of consumers who buy coverage through the online federal health insurance marketplace can find plans with a premium of less than $75 per month, and 84 percent can find plans with premiums of less than $100, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

         In its filings, Blue Cross said the higher rates were needed for a number of reasons, including an expected increase in utilization and cost of services, to cover taxes and fees, and the end of a federal reinsurance program that helps protect insurers from costly claims.

         The reinsurance program made $7.8 billion in payments for Affordable Care Act plans sold in 2015.

         In May, Blue Cross and subsidiary HMO Louisiana requested rate increases averaging in a range from 20.5 percent to 28.3 percent for Affordable Care Act plans sold through the federal marketplace. However, on June 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a report on programs designed to help offset insurers' costs for covering sicker and higher-cost consumer.

         After the report was issued, the state Insurance Department allowed Blue Cross to revise its rate filings. The department approved rate increases averaging from 23.4 percent to 41.1 percent.

         The rates vary by health plan and customer. For example, the Blue Max plan has a minimum increase of 32.7 percent and a maximum increase of 54.7 percent.

         Meanwhile, Vantage Health Plan requested a 30.8 percent increase in May. Vantage amended the increase to 31.5 percent because the initial filing didn't include the insurer's 2015 results.

         Humana asked for and received an average rate increase of 29.5 percent.

         For more information



Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags


  • Jefferson Chamber Golf Classic


    Enjoy a day on the links with business friends, clients or prospects, and network with Jefferson Chamber leadership, board members and key decision...

  • Spice of Life Women's Expo Northshore


    Bring your friends to shop, socialize and learn at this fun-filled, energetic Ladies Day Out. Exciting Speakers Presenting Interesting and Relevant...

  • You Are Not Alone


    The Counseling Solutions program of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans is collaborating with the Substance Addiction Ministry of the...

  • Biz Night at Royal Sonesta


    Looking to promote your business and network with local professionals? Register today for Biz New Orleans' Strictly Biz Night. Join us this...

Show More...