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KY Health Insurance Premiums to Increase

New story same as the old: Kentucky residents will see their health insurance premiums increase once again in 2017. The last increase, effective in 2016, was approved in July 2015 by Gov. Steve Beshear.

Kentucky’s biggest insurer at the time, KY CO-OP, were set to increase premiums by 25.1% in 2016. That was before they eventually folded and left 75% (or 51,000) of all Kynect-registered customers without an insurance plan at the end of last year. A sixty-million-dollar failure. Other large insurers also increased premiums in 2016—Anthem BCBS by 12.2%, Humana 5.2%, and CareSource Kentucky 12.83%.

Next year’s increase will be an average of 17% according to an Associated Press report in the Herald Leader. Unsurprisingly, former governor Steve Beshear was quick to lay the blame at the foot of the current administration. He is quoted as saying “we believe the main reason why insurance companies are proposing higher rates is because of the uncertainty of the future of Kynect.” Not so quick, point out Anthem officials. Kentucky Health Cooperative’s demise at the end of last year left 51,000 mostly high-risk consumers out in the December cold. Higher risk translates to higher premiums, for everybody.

According to the Associated Press report, Kynect policies will see an increase of 20% in premiums, whereas plans purchased outside of the exchange will increase by 16%.

The requested increases vary from 6.95% for UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company small group customers, to 65% for individual customers of Golden Rule Insurance Company.

Insurance rates are not controlled by state policies, with the exception of state-managed co-operatives. Of the 23 such co-ops that were created by states under Obamacare, only 11 survive.
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