You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Health insurance to rise 41% under health law, Ohio officials say

Numbers don’t take into account that most Ohioans will be eligible for discounts.


The Ohio Department of Insurance expects Ohioans purchasing health insurance next year through the new insurance exchange will pay 41 percent more on average than they did in 2013, but the estimate doesn’t include discounts available to most Ohioans eligible for coverage.

Department officials project insurance companies’ cost to insure Ohioans on the exchange, an online marketplace where consumers can compare and purchase health insurance plans, to increase 83 percent on average over 2013.

The department compared a 2012 report of Ohio premiums from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to plans being offered on the exchange created by the Affordable Care Act. The study found individual plan premiums purchased through the exchange are expected to increase from an average $236.29 per month to $332.58 in 2014, while exchange plans for small businesses will increase from on average $341.03 per month to $401.99 in 2014.

“These kinds of significant costs increases are bad for job creation and why the governor and I continue to call for the repeal and replacement of this flawed law with reforms that improve access by lowering costs,” Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said in a statement. Taylor, a Republican, oversees the Department of Insurance and is a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act.

The numbers released by state officials don’t take into account that most individuals shopping the exchange will be eligible for subsidies and tax credits or for Medicaid if Ohio chooses to extend the qualification to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The feds estimate 1.3 million Ohioans — 14 percent — are uninsured and will be eligible for coverage on exchanges. Of those, 94 percent will be eligible for tax credits and subsidies reducing the premiums they pay.

Ohio consumer health advocates warn the numbers are intended to put a negative spin on Obamacare while ignoring its benefits. The department’s premium estimates come one day after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a fact sheet touting the successes and future benefits of the law.

“It’s sad for Ohioans that the Department of Insurance is trying to keep from people the good news about new options for affordable insurance for the exchange with a misleading release such as this,” said Cathy Levine, co-chairperson of Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage, which supports more access to affordable health care and has advocated for more transparency from the department.

Brian Rothenberg, executive director of liberal group ProgressOhio, said the state estimates go against what’s been seen in other big states and excluding the subsidies “makes no sense” if the goal is to enroll people in plans.

“She shouldn’t announce rates without illustrating what that means for real people benefiting from tax credits that can be substantial in some moderate income categories,” Rothenberg said.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., pounced on the study and said House Republicans will continue to work toward dismantling Obamacare.

“It’s time to repeal the law and take a step-by-step approach to health care reform that begins with lowering costs and protecting jobs,” Boehner said in a statement.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Ohio

3 storm chasers killed in crash near Lubbock, Texas
3 storm chasers killed in crash near Lubbock, Texas

Three storm chasers were killed Tuesday in a two-vehicle collision just east of Lubbock, Texas, in an accident authorities are saying did not involve severe weather. According to media reports from CBSDFW.com and CBS Dallas, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers said the storm chasers were driving toward a tornado and ran a stop sign. “A...
Troy police started pursuit, terminated it before deadly crash
Troy police started pursuit, terminated it before deadly crash

Nine Troy police officers responded to the report of a stolen vehicle that spurred Monday’s high-speed police pursuit that ended with the death of an innocent driver in Harrison Twp. Troy police — who have a pursuit policy requiring an “immediate need for apprehension” — initiated the chase but later terminated it before...
Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes
Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes

Two Florida animal rescue facilities have taken in 47 dachshunds and are looking for a forever home for each of them. WJHG reported that the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, and the Save Underdogs Rescue in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took in the dogs. “They were going to be taken to a local shelter that wasn't a no-kill shelter so...
Elon Musk launches effort to interface human brain and computers
Elon Musk launches effort to interface human brain and computers

  Entrepreneur Elon Musk is the man behind the car company Tesla, the inventor of PayPal and the genius behind Space X, Hyperloop and even more. Now the billionaire inventor has launched a company called Neuralink to figure out how to connect the brain and computers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The idea is to create tiny devices, like electrodes...
19-year-old ‘genius’ to graduate college early, plans to be astronaut
19-year-old ‘genius’ to graduate college early, plans to be astronaut

In May, Ronald McCullough Jr. will graduate college at the same age most students are still early underclassmen.  But doing things ahead of schedule is not unusual for the 19-year-old, whose genius-level intelligence allowed him to skip second grade and graduate from Maynard Jackson High School at 15, according to a news release.  McCullough...
More Stories