The A word

That word is “affordable,” and as usual, it doesn’t mean what everyone was taught it meant:

Health insurance premiums will likely increase by an average of 76 percent for Oklahomans who buy individual coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. The increases for individual market plans range from 58 percent to 96 percent.

“These jaw-dropping increases make it clear that Oklahoma’s exchange is on life support,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Health insurers are losing massive amounts of money. If they don’t raise rates they’ll go out of business. This system has been doomed from the beginning.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the only health insurer offering plans on the federal exchange in 2017, submitted the increases to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS will determine if the increases are reasonable. The increase requests follow many insurers reporting significant losses, lower than expected enrollment by the younger population and new customers being sicker than expected. ACA-compliant off-exchange individual plans sold by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma will see the same increases as plans sold on the exchange.

UnitedHealthcare, which was on the exchange last year, has withdrawn.


  1. fillyjonk »

    5 October 2016 · 10:33 am

    I am greatly relieved (and grateful) that my employer decided to “eat” any cost in premiums for the primary insured. (I guess people with dependents wind up getting the shaft, though). My dental even dropped a couple bucks a month for next year.

  2. CGHill »

    5 October 2016 · 10:57 am

    Haven’t heard what we’re doing here yet. (Roll date is 1 January.) I am expecting the worst, because that’s what I do.

  3. fillyjonk »

    5 October 2016 · 12:01 pm

    Our new start date is Jan. 1, but they always make us go through the reinsurance rigamarole (part of it is to try to sell us on more of the “optional” coverages, like orthodontia) in October.

    This year there were some big life-insurance changes so it took longer (we do all the insurance stuff at one go)

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