Virginia Insurers Are Requesting Premium Rate Increases as High as 20% in 2018

Fewer insurers are operating on Obamacare exchanges since the recent exit of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare

An Obamacare sign in Miami / Getty Images
May 12, 2017

Health insurers in Virginia are requesting premium rate increases as high as 20.4 percent for next year, InsuranceNewsNet reported.

According to the state's Bureau of Insurance, rate increases range from a low of 1.7 percent to a high of 20.4 percent, and some insurers will have premiums increase three-fold.

"All these increases equate out to tremendously large premiums, which we thought were large last year," said Del. Kathy Byron (R.). "So if nothing happens with any reforms or changes in Washington, these are pretty dramatic premium increases that people are going to be facing."

There will also be fewer insurers operating on the Obamacare exchanges in 2018 since Aetna and UnitedHealthcare have dropped coverage.

"Four fewer insurers are offering plans on the individual exchange compared to last year," the article said. "No new issuers have filed intentions to offer plans on Virginia's exchange either. Last year, Aetna and Cigna both decided to participate in Virginia's ACA market for the first time."

In October 2016, the Obama administration announced that premiums for 2017 would rise by double digits. According to the Kaiser Foundation, rate increases are a result of the increasing number of insurers experiencing losses on the exchanges.

"Nationwide, average Marketplace premiums for 2017 are increasing more than they have in the past two years," the Obama administration said. "For the median consumer, the benchmark second-lowest silver plan premium is increasing by 16 percent this year, before taking into account the effects of financial assistance."

Insurers are now filing rate requests for 2018, seeking even higher premiums. Health insurers in Maryland recently requested rate increases as high as 150 percent and insurers in Connecticut have rates as high as 52 percent.

Published under: Obamacare