Obamacare Rates Coming Out Soon

Consumers soon will find out whether they will have to pay a lot more for their Obamacare plans next year, with just a few days remaining for a majority of states to finalize them.

State insurance officials have until next Tuesday to approve the plans that will be sold in 2016 and submit them to the federal government for a final sign-off. Rates in the majority of states relying on the federal marketplace, found at healthcare.gov, probably won’t be available until right before the third year of enrollment begins Nov. 1.

But four states — Rhode Island, Oregon, Kentucky and Michigan — already have announced their prices. And rates in the other states running their own marketplaces are expected to trickle out soon as well, likely providing lawmakers returning to Washington after their August recess plenty of Obamacare ammunition to heave at each other.

After a significant number of insurers suggested big, double-digit rate increases earlier this summer, Republicans pounced on the proposals as evidence that President Obama’s healthcare law is pushing up healthcare costs. But Democrats pointed to the past two years, where premiums in the marketplaces had modest increases on average.