Prices for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia customers on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange could spike over 25 percent next year.
In 96 of Georgia’s 159 counties, Blue Cross, owned by Anthem, is the only remaining insurer on the exchange.
The Georgia Department of Insurance released the proposals filed by insurance companies that want to offer plans in 2018. The companies must now negotiate their proposed rates over the next several months with the state. But the initial salvo would be a significant hit to their customers’ pockets.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia is proposing to increase prices 26.2 percent, and possibly higher, depending on the plan, according to the company’s filing. Topping their list of reasons why were inflation in medical care prices, as well as heavier use of medical services and a sicker population signing up on the exchange than the company originally forecast.
Opponents of Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare, say such price hikes are a clear signal that the system is untenable and collapsing in on itself. Obamacare advocates blame that partially on decisions by Republicans, such as limiting advertising for the exchange enrollment. Advertising tends to bring in the healthier people who were on the fence and thus strengthen the companies’ customer base.
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