Blue Cross wants to raise rates for Obamacare in Texas by 60 percent


Fresh problems for Obamacare: The largest health insurer in Texas wants to raise its rates on individual policies by an average of nearly 60 percent, a new sign that President Barack Obama’s overhaul hasn’t solved the problem of price spikes.

Texas isn’t alone. Citing financial losses under the health care law, many insurers around the country are requesting bigger premium increases for 2017. That’s to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets.

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Obamacare is such a blessing–for insurance companies. Rates have doubled and tripled, while coverage has decreased and deductibles have increased.

The only happy patients and doctors now seem to be the ones who have opted out of the third party pay business, and pay their docs directly.




I’m not sure it’s much of a blessing for insurance companies anymore. Wasn’t it United that dropped out not long ago because it was losing money on the exchange?

I can’t predict when Obamacare will collapse, but it surely will as premiums keep increasing. One might even say Obamacare has done us a favor in showing how universal coverage and all kinds of mandated coverages eventually become unaffordable.

If Obamacare is unaffordable, how much worse would full government medicine be? It will eat up the GDP like Pac-man.

Nobody likes paying money for insurance. But when you can’t shop and are forced into a one size has to fit all program and when for an even sizeable segment of the population it’s free, it’s no wonder it’s going to tank. If we all were forced to buy top-of-the-line BMWs with all the bells and whistles or have no car at all and be penalized if we don’t, we would tank first, and the car manufacturers would do so right after we did.


In fairness, premiums rise partly because interest rates are low and insurance companies must accept higher risk for the same returns on reserves required to cover insurees. Some cannot accept the risk and get lower returns forcing higher premiums to make up the difference.

Maybe the Fed will count these higher premiums in their inflation numbers, increase interest rates to about 3%, and the system will be self-correcting.


There’s a lot of truth to your first statement. A lot.

I’m not so sure 3% would do it, though, and one has to at least wonder whether this lackluster economy is alive only because of Fed oxygen being pumped through a low-interest trach. My goodness, if these rates don’t find investment takers other than in the Wall Street “carry trade”, we’re right on the edge of recession or worse.


There’s an actual third mandate for the Fed to keep long-term interest rates moderate. Historically these rates have been about 3% over the inflation figures and not much was said about it. This is no longer the case as now the 10-yr rate has fallen below 2%. The funny thing is that Fed wants to raise interest rates, but foreigners will be buying more U.S. Treasuries as their own central banks have lowered their rates into negative or almost negative territory. So the Fed has essentially gone powerless against a worldwide abuse of the monetary system. At least that’s the way I see it, evidenced by the seemingly low lending numbers at the low interest rates. If banks won’t or can’t lend, what good are low interest rates anyway?


Part of the trouble is some of us actually need that bells-and-whistles insurance to be functional members of society. Obamacare may be expensive, but for some of us the option previously was “hope you never have any periods of unemployment because you can’t afford your medical bills.” And part of the trouble is that if you have to cover people like me - people who just plain can’t pay their medical bills - costs go up.


As a physical therapist, this is my preferred way of being paid when possible. Sadly, after paying very high deductibles and premiums, not many people can pay cash.


why just Texas? I thought this healthcare was government mandated. why would they just be raising rates in one state?



Texas isn’t alone. Citing financial losses under the health care law, many insurers around the country are requesting bigger premium increases for 2017. That’s to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets.

Earlier this week, North Carolina’s largest insurer said it will seek an average increase of 18.8 percent.

A recent analysis of nine states by the consulting firm Avalere Health found that average premium increases for the most popular kind of plan ranged from 5 percent in Washington state to 44 percent in Vermont.


I guess it was Obama’s plan all along to defer actually having the real costs of his scheme showing up until he was out of office.


Just a rumor, but I heard Trump has a plan for national health care and he’s going to make Mexico pay for it!:smiley:


Amen! You hit that nail on the head!


Some states started exchanges while some left it up to the federal government to create a master exchange. Now the states that established exchanges are seeing how terrible this idea was from the start.


So, according to the 27 year old writers, they out right fabricated “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”.

We used to have very affordable insurance, but not any more.

Now we have ginormous bureaucracy of non-medical people who are running things.


We used to have HSA’s and catastrophic policies.

A combination of those work the best.

And are the lowest cost.

But they were only available in certain states that legislated them to be allowed. In those states.

But now we have HUGE bureaucracies of non-medical clerks, who don’t actually know anything.

It can be changed back.


I can agree with your first statement, but can’t see an increase to the interest rate correcting anything. The damage has been done. I have never seen an insurance company cut rates. The only thing they are capable of cutting is doctor reimbursements. I fear they will just keep gouging the public for every penny they can get their greedy little hands on, to up their profits, until the whole system eventually collapses.


Why doesn’t Hillary have a fix-it plan?


I think many people would like to do that, but in my experience the prices are often hard to find. For instance my son’s physical therapy “bill rate” is normally between 160 - 195. After insurance and my copays the PT group gets about 90 - 100 bucks. If I ask the billing department though they will only give me the bill rate, not the actual payment rate. It is hard to compare prices if you can’t get an accurate cash rate or if the company doesn’t offer a cash discount (which should be cheaper if you aren’t having to pay an insurance processor).

Since many medical related bills are inflated because they know they will get lower insurance reimbursement rates, it is difficult for consumers to be able to accurately plan for costs. This is triply true with hospitals and labs where they are routinely reimbursed at 10 - 25% of bill rate (52k knee surgery and they got 8k). How medical billing is set up one almost has to have insurance to avoid getting soaked by these over inflated bill rates.

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