Aetna CEO: Rate Hikes Due to ObamaCare 'Essential Benefits,' Taxes, Fees

Aetna CEO: Rate Hikes Due to ObamaCare 'Essential Benefits,' Taxes, Fees

The CEO of one of America’s major health insurers said Tuesday that many health insurance premiums will likely jump dramatically because of all the essential benefits required under ObamaCare, as well as the new taxes and fees associated with the law that are now included in the cost of plans.

CNBC reports Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, said that most Americans with current plans are below the 60 percent essential ObamaCare benefit requirement while appearing on Closing Bell. He said individual plan participants will have to pay a minimum of a 20 percent increase to upgrade to include what the Obama administration says is an “essential benefit.”

For example, mental health and substance abuse benefits are considered “essential” under ObamaCare, requiring insurers to include these in all plans whether they are needed or not by consumers. Similarly, contraception must be offered to women with no out of pocket payment as an “essential benefit.”

Bertolini said that in light of the current economy and reduced Medicare rates, Aetna must explore how to bridge the gap between what seniors will pay out of pocket and what his company can cover.

“Aetna alone will pass through to its customers over $1 billion in taxes and fees associated with the Affordable Care Act that need to go into the pricing,” Bertolini said.

In addition, the CEO said that new changes in ratings to items such as pre-existing conditions as a result of an expansion of policy benefit requirements have hiked up costs to insurance plans.

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