Look How Obamacare Is Performing in the States...

by Jim Geraghty

From the last Morning Jolt of the week:

Here’s Why Democrats Aren’t Talking About Health Care This Year

Let’s check in on how the Affordable Care Act is doing out there in the states.

Sorry about those premium hikes, Delawareans!

Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart has approved an average rate increase of 32.5 percent in the individual market for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, which has the vast majority of the individual market share in Delaware. That follows an average premium increase of 22.4 percent for individual Highmark plans this year.

Aetna Life Insurance Co. received approval for an average 22.8 percent increase in the individual market, while Aetna Health Insurance Co. received an average increase of 23.6 percent. That follows increases of just under 17 percent for this year.

Sorry about the lack of options, Iowans!

Iowa’s state insurance division said residents in 13 rural counties who want to buy subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will have just one provider to choose from for 2017.

Minnesota-based Medica is the only health insurer that has agreed to sell individual policies throughout the state via the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace. The marketplace was touted as a way to encourage competition among health insurers.

About 55,000 Iowa residents bought individual health insurance policies for 2016 in the marketplace, and most had incomes low enough to qualify for subsidies, which come as tax credits, the Des Moines Register reported. 

Sorry you had to pay giant premium hikes and still lost your plan, Tennesseans!

After losing nearly $500 million on its individual health plans offered through the Affordable Care Act over the past three years, Tennessee’s biggest health insurer isscaling back its participation in the so-called ObamaCare program, even after regulators granted the company a record 62 percent rate hike for next year.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee said Monday it is withdrawing its individual exchange plans next year in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville to help limit the risks of additional losses for the Chattanooga-based insurer.

BlueCross will continue to offer individual health plans under ObamaCare in 65 of Tennessee’s 95 counties…

Sorry about the reduced work week and smaller paychecks, Wisconsin!

UW-Madison is cutting the work week of its student employees to no more than 29 hours to conform to requirements of the Affordable Care Act, a move some student workers say will make it harder for them to stay in school.

“With less hours, many students will have to juggle two jobs, and that will definitely hurt academic success,” undergraduate student worker Reid Kurkerewicz said in comments provided by the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC).

If you liked your plan… sorry you can’t keep your plan, Nebraskans!

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska has announced that it will not sell individual health insurance in Nebraska on the marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.

The decision from the state’s largest insurer came on Friday due to the company sustaining losses. The decision will affect roughly 20,000 Nebraskans.

New Jerseyans… you know the drill.

Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey,  one of 23 nonprofit consumer-operated and -oriented health plans established under the Affordable Care Act, has agreed to be taken over by regulators because of its “hazardous financial condition,” the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance said Monday.

Health Republic, which insures 35,950 people under individual and small-group plans, will continue paying claims this year while under rehabilitation by regulators, but will not offer plans for 2017. 

Before the Health Republic announcement, 16 of the 23 co-op plans had failed nationwide, as losses mounted.  

President Obama calls the Affordable Care Act, “a huge success, but it’s got real problems.” Some might argue those two assessments are contradictory.

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