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Obamacare Is Raising Insurance Rates

by Jenny Erikson on December 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Barack Obama Signs the Healthcare Act
Some months after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- was passed in 2010, I got a letter from my insurance provider. Blue Shield of California was kindly informing me that my rates were going up considerably, “due to new regulations in the health care industry.”

More recently, I got another letter saying that my doctor I’ve been going to for a decade no longer accepts my insurance. It did not say anything about Obamacare specifically, but I’m pretty sure that the President said that if I liked my doctor, I could keep my doctor, so that’s another promise broken.

Then recently, I read in the news that Blue Shield is looking to raise their rates again. This proposed 12-20 percent hike would affect some 300,000 customers starting in March. Some critics say the nonprofit company shouldn't raise rates while their reserves are at a record high of $3.9 billion, but Blue Shield claims it’s necessary.

Health insurance companies have to keep money in reserve to make sure they’ll be able to pay out any claims filed, and Blue Shield has made clear that this money “has been put aside for the future benefit of its policyholders.”

So why the rate jump? The company expects higher costs due to an influx of new participants under the federal healthcare law in 2014. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime change in the health care market that will bring a lot of volatility, and we need higher reserves for that,” said Blue Shield spokeswoman Lindy Wagner. Even then, the company expects to lose money in the individual insurance market in 2013.

Blue Shield is hardly the only company passing along increased costs to consumers. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has said that Obamacare’s provisions will likely double some customers' premiums. Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, United Health Group, and more have all announced that they will be substantially raising rates in the coming months.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, average family premiums have risen 4.5 percent this year -- double the rate of inflation. And that comes on top of a 9.5 percent increase last year. That means that since Obamacare was enacted, family premiums have jumped up nearly $2,000.

Our healthcare system was already stretched to its limits before Obama decided to take it over. Now we have increased demand, higher costs, longer lifespans, aging Boomers, a doctor shortage ... it’s the perfect recipe for a mammoth financial risk for insurance companies. No wonder they’re charging more.

Have your health care costs gone up?


Image via Leader Nancy Pelosi/Flickr

Filed Under: barack obama, corporations, health care, in the news, law, taxes


  • jalaz77


    December 17, 2012 at 10:36 AM
    Mine go up EVERY year. I am a RN and to the people who DO NOT have insurance thank me. I have been paying your bill. So not surprised or shocked, would of happened anyway. Hospitals have money set aside to cover uninsured but the rest falls on when a pt comes in and says they can't afford a $20 co-pay at an Acut Care for a belly ache they have had for a month but can afford cigarettes. So come to the ER and rack up at least $500 just walking through the door. I will just write the check now...
  • Truth...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Truth Teller

    December 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM
    Insurance rates go up annually, you disingenuous simpleton. Mine did not go up any more then usual. Where you sitting by the mailbox waiting for that annual letter just so you could post this article about Obama's "lies"?
  • Foley...


    December 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    My insurance has gone up $100 a month, and my husband's has as well, and the letter that came with it cited Obamacare as the reason. We have individual plans, and that seems to be the only place insurance companies can make up their losses.

  • Doomy234


    December 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM
    Mine, my husbands and my sons insurance has risen to almost double what it used to be. I also had to switch doctors. But hey, its worth me paying $500 a month so you can save $10 on birth control, right? Oh and I DO still pay $10 on my birth control. The one my doc prescribed me isnt on the list for "free" coverage. And I cant just switch, it'd cause a hormonal inbalance. So guess I am stuck paying for broken promises.
  • Truth...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Truth Telling

    December 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM
    How about instead of blaming Obama, you blame the greedy insurance company a-holes, who have billions in reserves and continue to jack up your rates? Blame your asshole doctor for dropping you because he is greedy and doesn't give a sh!t about you or your family.
  • Celia
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM
    Everything jalaz77 said and I agree with Truth Telling
    I'm going into healthcare and volunteering at my hospital has helped me learn a thing or two about the business.
    I'm under my mothers awesome insurance(thanks to Obama extending the age I'm still insured for another 3 years) and our rates go up every since I could remember but we keep the insurance obviously as a maybe, we rarely get sick and we visit the doctor a few times a year because our copay is $5. You pay monthly for a big fat maybe.
  • Dee
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 17, 2012 at 11:19 AM
    Seems like business as usual, rates have gone up every year for as long as I remember, it's these greedy insurance companies, not Obamacare. But I'm still winning, every time I see a ridiculously biased headline I check to see if it's Jenny and it ALWAYS is. Good work being a douche bag!
  • Sarahm24


    December 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM
    Even though some people say obama care is great, you'll now have to wait longer to see the doctor, because of all the new people coming in, my mom said a girl from switzerland broke her foot and it took her two weeks to actually be able to get it x-rayed because they have something similar to obamacare.
  • Laurlev


    December 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM
    I blame the insurance companies for raising rates. They are using Obamacare as an excuse to justify raising rates to increase profits. All of the major insurance companies have seen record profits and I guarantee they will be higher this year over last year. The CEO's of the top 5 insurance companies made $80 million in bonuses last year. They are laughing all the way to the bank.
  • Dee
    -- Nonmember comment from


    December 17, 2012 at 1:04 PM
    @sarah, that's odd I have good friends around the world, including in Switzerland and none have anything but good to say about national health care. Most of the rest of the developed world see us as savages concerning health care and wouldn't trade their plans for our old ones for anything. Have you ever ACTUALLY talked to a Brit, European, or Canadian about it? Because I have and they all called bullshit on the lies we're told.
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