More Health Insurance “News,” if “Everyone Is Anxious and Uncertain” Counts as News

Also, premiums might rise by 34 percent next year.

Photo credit: Pictures of Money, CC BY 2.0.

I’m guessing a few of you saw this Slate article earlier today, but if you haven’t:

Trump Is Already Driving Up the Cost of Health Insurance for Millions of Americans

With filings submitted in 18 states, carriers have asked regulators to let them hike premiums by an average of 34 percent next year, according data compiled by Charles Gaba of By comparison, premiums jumped just 22 percent this year as insurers attempted to finally fix their unprofitable exchange businesses, which had lost money covering an older, sicker, more costly pool of customers than companies had anticipated. (That was just slightly below their average requested hike of about 25 percent.)

Why are carriers asking for such dramatic rate increases? To borrow Gaba’s phrase, Americans are paying a “Trump tax.”

You don’t need me to tell you, again, that when people (or industries) don’t know what is going to happen to them, they look for ways to hoard money. Yesterday BuzzFeed ran a story about the whole “the government has less money because rich people are avoiding taxable decisions” problem, which showed up in the same sidebar as all the “choose five things and we’ll tell you what thing you are” pieces:

Investors Are Hoarding Money As The Government Runs Out Of It

But back to our health insurers. Why are they raising premiums?

[…] insurers seem to have started pricing in the possibility that the subsidies will in fact disappear, along with other looming uncertainties, such as whether the government will keep enforcing the individual mandate.

In other “looming uncertainty” news:

Mitch McConnell says this year’s Senate recess will start late

McConnell’s decision comes after members of his own party asked him to delay the five-week long break from Washington as a long list of GOP priorities pile up, including a stalled health care bill — even as new details emerged about a revised health care plan.

We’re scheduled to get the revised health care bill tomorrow. I’m curious to see what it includes.

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