Humana, Cigna To Tennessee: Our Original Double-Digit Obamacare Premium Estimates Are Even Higher Now

Posted: Aug 16, 2016 12:40 PM
Humana, Cigna To Tennessee: Our Original Double-Digit Obamacare Premium Estimates Are Even Higher Now

At the recent annual RedState Gathering in Denver, Colorado, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey discussed on a panel about Obamacare the possibility that we’re facing a total collapse of the law, which is conveniently not really going to impact President Obama himself. This is a huge homework assignment, along with Russia, Syria, Iran, and Yemen, which he’s passing onto the other guy (or gal). We know the losses incurred by health insurers are astronomical and unsustainable. It’s the reason why many are pulling out of the market across the country. Premiums for every plan, including the so-called low-cost plans, are projected tor rise by double-digits. And even those projections are set to almost double in states like Tennessee.

In an effort to keep insurers involved in the exchange, Tennessee allowed health care insurers Cigna and Humana a chance to revisit their earlier premium projections, which on average were set to spike 26 percent. Now, both companies have re-filed their rates—and they’re even higher, almost doubling their original projections (via The Tennessean)

Cigna and Humana each filed revised, and higher, requests for premiums on the 2017 Obamacare exchange after the state's insurance regulator granted them the chance to revisit earlier requests in a bid to keep the insurers in the market.

In its latest filing, Cigna is proposing an average 46 percent increase — double its first 23 percent increase request.

Humana, which requested a 29 percent average increase in June, is requesting an average 44.3 percent increase, according to a filing with the state regulators.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is set to approve rates for next year on or before Aug. 23, but decided to allow insurers to revise requests after hearing concerns from Cigna and Humana that proposed increases would not cover claims.

Kevin Walters, spokesman for the agency, said Monday that the possibility of the insurers leaving over projected losses was "too great a risk." The TDCI stipulated that insurers with revised requests would have to meet with state officials in person to explain.

Aetna, UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield—all have incurred losses and found this model unsustainable. In North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield was mulling whether to pull out of the market entirely in February, after five percent of their affordable care customers consumed $830 million in heath care costs in 2014, but only collected $75 million in premiums. That’s with the subsidy. They’re the only health insurer that sells plans to all of the state’s 100 counties.

Be sure to be on the lookout for Guy’s post about Aetna’s decision on Obamacare. Let’s just say the trainwreck never ends with this law.