Toomey To Sebelius: Provide Data On Premium Rates Under Obamacare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has asked Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to provide detailed information about current and projected health insurance premium rates under Obamacare.

During questioning at a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, Secretary Sebelius could not deny that health insurance premiums are rising. Sen. Toomey and Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee have sent a letter to the secretary requesting the average premium rates for individuals age 27, 40 and 64 years for the following categories:

  • In each of the bronze, silver, and gold plans offered on the health care exchanges.
  • The rates for these exchange-based plans before taxpayer-funded subsidies.
  • A breakdown of these rates for the 27 states participating in the federally-facilitated exchange, the 7 partnership marketplaces, and the 17 state-based marketplaces. 
  • The rates for individuals who continue to receive employer based health insurance.

An August 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that annual premiums for employer-based health insurance for families would increase from $13,375 in 2009 to $16,351 in 2013. Further, a recent Manhattan Institute for Policy Research study found that premiums in the individual market will increase, on average, by about 41 percent from their pre-Obamacare levels.

The full text of the senators’ letter is below:

December 12, 2013

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

We write seeking detailed information about current and projected health insurance premium rates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama repeatedly promised that his health care plan would bring down premiums by as much as $2,500 for the typical family. As president, he continued to make this claim, even after studies demonstrated premium costs were on the rise. In a 2009 analysis, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “projected” family premiums would reach $15,200 in 2016, as opposed to $13,100 without PPACA. During recent testimony before the Senate Finance Committee members, you asserted that premium rates are 16 percent lower than the CBO projected rates for 2016.

More recent studies have consistently shown premiums for both individuals and families are skyrocketing. Even more concerning is that current premium data does not fully reflect the law’s mandates, some of which have yet to take effect. An August 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that annual premiums for employer-based health insurance for families would increase from $13,375 in 2009 to $16,351 in 2013. Further, a recent Manhattan Institute for Policy Research study found that individual premium rates will increase, on average, by about 41 percent from their pre-PPACA levels.

For Congress to conduct proper oversight of the implementation of PPACA, it is important that Congress and the public have detailed information about the monthly costs of health insurance premiums. Therefore, we request your assistance in obtaining the actual rates after the October 1, 2013 enactment of PPACA.

Please provide the average premium rates for individuals age 27, 40 and 64 years for the following categories:

  • In each of the bronze, silver, and gold plans offered on the health care exchanges.
  • The rates for these exchange-based plans before tax-payer funded subsidies.
  • A breakdown of these rates for the 27 states participating in the federally-facilitated exchange, the 7 partnership marketplaces, and the 17 state-based marketplaces. 
  • The rates for individuals who continue to receive employer based health insurance.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

~ News Release via Pat Toomey, U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania ~

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