Back on 10/26, I checked the estimated base premiums (without tax breaks or subsidies) on a number of the ACA Silver Plans. There is a chance I may be close to broke next year and if I count on the subsidies, I may not have enough to pay the taxes and might end up having to pay the subsidies back. So I needed something with a base price I could maybe afford without subsidies. (I'm currently paying, with a recent rate hike, about $400.)
I focused on two plans, one from BCBS, with an estimated premium of $380.54, the other from Cigna with an estimate of $419.35. Even without subsidies, these were still-- just barely--affordable for me.
Today, I went back to Healthcare.gov, intending to sign up, and looked again at those two plans.
The BCBS plan estimate is now $612! The Cigna plan? $675! That's a hike of more than 60%....in six weeks!
What the hell? In what strange universe do insurance prices jump 60% in less than six weeks? Did everyone who signed up in October thinking they'd pay a certain rate now still have that as their base premium, or have their base premiums also been hiked? If so, will they be hit with sticker shock Jan. 1 when, even with subsidies, their premiums are much higher than they thought?
And if their rates have not gone up, what about those of us signing up now? On what basis will we be paying rates that are 60% higher?
A few more examples: (62 YO female, non-smoker, living in Parker County, TX.)
Blue Advantage Silver HMO 003? It was $369. It's now $594.
Blue Choice Silver PPO 003? $467. It's now $753.
Blue Cross Shield Solution? $451. It's now $759.
myCigna Health Savings 3400? $421. It's now $679.
myCigna Health Flex 2750? $428. It's now $689.
myCigna Health Flex 5000? $430. It's now $693.
All of these, with one exception, are a 60%+ hike, and the exception is just a shade under.
I called the number on Health.gov and got a sign-up person who didn't know the basis for these hikes and didn't have a number for me to ask someone else. I don't blame him; but when he suggested that I have my Congressman or Senator ask about this, I knew that wasn't going to work, since I live in....of course....Texas.
For those of you who signed up back in November, please check the estimated rates for your plan on healthcare.gov now....I'd like to see if other plans--including the Bronze and the Gold plans-- have this same absurd discrepancy. Or are they only hiking plans for 62 year old women who live in Texas?
And....anyone got any suggestions onto who to contact about this? A phone number? An email address? I smell a stink here and I'd like to let the guv'mint know about it. Either people who signed up six weeks ago are getting a whale of a deal...or the rest of us are getting shafted.
And I'd like to know why.