UPDATE: According to BlueChoice spokeswoman Pattie Embry-Tautenhan, the actual figure of those affected by the spike in health insurance premiums is less than 17,000. WIS now reports that the total number of affected is 16,678.
Over 250,000 public and state employees in South Carolina have been notified that their health-insurance premiums are going up because of Obamacare.
WIS, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, S.C., reports that BlueCross BlueShield’s BlueChoice individual and family plans will see rate goes up by hundreds of dollars in 2014, an increase of 41 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
BlueChoice blamed the spike in premiums on Obamacare in a statement, asserting that “the [Affordable Care Act] is adding federal taxes and fees, and additional costs due to enrichment of benefits; it is one-third of what is causing this particular insurance product to increase so significantly.”
David Avant, executive director of the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority, also blamed the law’s new regulations for driving up costs.
“If you add preventative care, if you cover dependents longer than you were covering them before, if you lower the out of pocket maxes that people have to reach . . . then it will drive up cost,” Avant said.
According to WIS, state employees make up about 10 percent of the Palmetto State’s population.