California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told reporters Tuesdaythat insurance rates jumped in 2014 between 22 percent and 88 percent. Jones ispushing for the passage of Prop 45 which would give the state theability to govern rate increases by insurers.
Jones made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday. Heexamined rate increases among California’s four largest insurers andfound significant jumps, especially for young people, between 2013 and2014.
There is some political gamesmanship going on here. Obamacareintentionally created higher premiums for younger people and those noteligible for subsidies on the individual market. Those increases werenot only predicted they were considered a feature, a way to offset thecosts of expanding insurance to millions of lower income people whodid not have coverage.
Now Jones is using evidence of thoseplanned increases to push for more government control in the form ofProp 45. Prop 45, which is on the ballot this November, would give the state control over future rate increases.
It is not a coincidence that Jones made his announcement two days beforeCovered California released rate increases for 2015. Jones claims thoserate increases will be lower than expected because insurers are worriedabout Prop 45 passing. However, he warned that after 2015, “the sky’s thelimit.”
The California Association of Health Plans issued a pressrelease responding to Jones report. Executive Vice President CharlesBacchi said,benefitting from the ACA or acknowledge how the ACA has substantiallyexpanded coverage and benefits while also changing the way premiums arepriced.” He added, “The analysis released today is not only old news it only tells one part of the story.”
In other words, higher prices for some people under Obamacare, particularly young people, is how his was intended to work.