Actually, we have — for three years. We’ve also heard for months that premiums would spike yet again in ObamaCare. CBS News highlighted it on its Sunday evening broadcast as open enrollment begins again, and consumers are experiencing their third straight year of sticker shock in the exchanges:
Sign-up season started Sunday for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, now in year 3.
Premiums are going up an average of 7.5 percent, but they could be much higher depending on where you live. …
Premiums vary widely — and are actually decreasing in a few places. Indiana is down 12.6 percent, and Mississippi is down 8 percent. But in most states, premiums are rising, up 31.5 percent in Alaska and up nearly 36 percent in Oklahoma.
Oddly, CBS doesn’t mention the 50% increase in Minnesota — just this year. CBS does note that market consolidation has caused some of these premium increases, but that is itself a symptom of the problems created by Democrats in the Affordable Care Act. The financial model of the mandates has created much more demand for utilization than Congress predicted, and insurers are still trying to catch up to the damage done to their financial models. Some insurers simply decided that they couldn’t compete and have either dropped out or allowed themselves to get bought by larger players in the market.
Of course, the potential for these failures was predicted early in the debate. Democrats thought that setting up government-backed co-ops would solve the problem — as if insurers didn’t understand how to run risk pools. Unsurprisingly, those co-ops have been failing faster than the insurers. In fact, another one went under over the weekend, this time in Arizona:
A low-cost health insurance co-op that covers about one in three Arizonans that have an Affordable Care Act marketplace plan won’t be allowed to sell health plans Sunday — the opening day consumers can purchase insurance — after the state of Arizona and the federal government took action against the entity.
The Arizona Department of Insurance said Friday afternoon that Meritus Health Partners/Meritus Mutual Health Partners has been placed into “supervision” and only can continue to serve existing clients until the end of the year. The federal government also suspended Meritus from the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace, which means the company won’t be able to sell health plans via healthcare.gov when the health-care law’s three-month enrollment period begins Sunday.
The government decisions will require about 59,000 Arizona residents who are covered by Meritus to switch health-insurance providers to maintain coverage in 2016, state officials said.
It’s not just consumers that have experienced sticker shock. The co-ops only remained open this long because the government indemnified their losses the first two years through the “risk corridor” program. Those back-door subsidies have stopped, and with them the fantasy that ObamaCare’s financial models make any sense at all. That’s not exactly breaking news, but for those who keep indulging in denial, it’s still a shock of one kind or another.