Health Insurance: Patients paying more for insurance — on and off insurance marketplace

Health Insurance: Patients will be paying more for insurance — whether they’re on or off exchange

It doesn’t matter whether patients are buying their health insurance on or off an insurance exchange. Everyone is paying more for insurance.

A new report from Kaiser Health News says that Americans that don’t receive any type of federal subsidy can expect to pay much higher premiums in 2017.

“For those receiving subsidies, the subsidy protects them against the increase. If they’re not eligible, they’ll be paying a lot more,” William Custer, a health policy and insurance expert at Georgia State University, told Kaiser Health News. “And the more premiums go up, the higher the cliff.”

According to a March 2016 report by the Congressional Budget Office, 12 million American patients received no federal subsidy for their health insurance.

Middle Class Patients: Hit hardest by health insurance hikes

Many of these 12 million insured but unsubsidized patients are exasperated by a system they see as patently unfair.

“I’ve worked … all my life,” says Shela Bryan, a 63-year-old maintenance supervisor in Georgia. “We’re the ones entitled to something, because we’ve worked. They tear me up in taxes and then they say my income is too high for a subsidy?”

She told Kaiser Health News that she could end up paying more for insurance — more than a quarter of her salary — double her mortgage payment — for a policy that won’t cover her asthma or high blood pressure medications.

“I don’t know how they think anyone can afford that,” she said.

Georgia: Patients paying more for insurance — 21 to 68 percent hike

Shela Bryan is emblematic of the problem facing middle class families who are being hit with ever-increasing health insurance premiums.

Patients in Georgia can expect to pay double-digit premium increases next year. Patients with insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, which is the only insurer offering plans throughout the state, will pay 21 percent more for insurance in 2017.

And they’re lucky!

State insurance regulators approved a 67.5 percent hike for Humana.

Maine: “These are significant increases”

Health insurance premiums in Maine are going up.

The Maine Bureau of Insurance has approved insurance rate increases that are averaging double-digits for all individual health plans, Maine Public Radio reports.

Patients with insurance through Community Health Options are seeing an average rate hike of 25.5 percent. The Portland Press Herald reports that health insurance rate hikes are devastating the 14,500 individual policyholders who are ineligible for federal subsidies.

“For those people who don’t get a subsidy, these are significant increases,” Eric Cioppa, Maine’s superintendent of insurance told the Press Herald.

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