Portman says Ohio insurance rates too high

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

The Ohio Department of Insurance has released the proposed premium cost increases of health insurance plans for 2017 for Ohio residents.

“The middle-class is already feeling squeezed from eight years of stagnating wages, slow economic growth, and rising cost of living, including an 80 percent increase in health insurance premiums in Ohio since the president’s health law went into effect,” Portman said. “These latest increases are just further proof that we need real health care reform, and to change course for the sake of the millions of middle-class families who deserve relief, not even higher costs.”

Portman said according to data from the Ohio Department of Insurance, health insurance premiums had already increased by a total of 81 percent in the individual insurance market and 80 percent for small business purchasing Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant plans since the president’s health law went into effect.

Friday, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced proposed rate increases for 2017, which show an additional increase of nearly 10 percent above and beyond 2016’s premiums on average. In one case, requested premiums would increase by 39 percent.

Jonathan Gold, press secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, painted a brighter picture.

“Consumers in Ohio will continue to have affordable coverage options in 2017. Last year, the average monthly premium for people with HealthCare.gov coverage getting tax credits increased just $4 from $102 to $106 per month, despite headlines suggesting double digit increases,” Gold said. “People in Ohio understand how the marketplace works, and they know that they can shop around and find coverage that fits their needs and budget; for example, one major Ohio issuer is requesting a 17 percent rate decrease. Last year more than 36 percent of marketplace consumers in Ohio switched plans to save money. In addition, the vast majority of consumers in Ohio qualify for tax credits that reduce the cost of coverage below the sticker price. Today’s announcement is just the beginning of the rates process, and consumers will have the final word when they vote with their feet during open enrollment.”

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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