The Pennsylvania Insurance Department on Monday approved monthly premium increases of up to 55 percent for health insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace.
The annual open enrollment period during which people can buy and switch plans on the marketplace runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. Increases averaged 32.5 percent for individual plans and 7.1 percent for small group plans, according to a department news release. The Insurance Department approved increases of 32 percent to 55 percent.
The insurer says new members were sicker than expected. Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said Monday that insurers in Pennsylvania have “struggled to accurately price their plans.”
The Affordable Care Act required insurers to sell insurance to everyone no matter how sick, ending a longstanding practice of denying coverage or charging higher rates for the sickest. “
It’s what we needed to do for 2017, but for long-term sustainability things have to change with the actual ACA law and regulations,” Miller said.