Insurers seek double-digit Obamacare hikes – Politico

Affordable Care Act Fair Draws Floridians As Enrollmnent Deadline Looms

Health insurers are asking federal and state regulators to sign off on double-digit rate hikes for hundreds of Obamacare plans next year, increases that are being driven by skyrocketing drug costs and better data on how healthy or sick their customers are.

On Monday, the Obama administration posted proposed premium hikes from a wide range of carriers — including major players like Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — and their rate requests provide the most comprehensive preview yet of what insurers expect for the 2016 enrollment season.

With some seeking hikes of more than 20 percent, the Obama administration quickly tried to tamp down fears of out-of-control insurance costs and insisted the proposals will receive tough scrutiny and will likely come down.

“These specific rates will be subject to vigorous rate review and revision,” Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a statement.

That didn’t stop Republicans from decrying the proposed increases. “Despite being promised that Obamacare would lower premiums, it is doing the exact opposite,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement.

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