Obamacare Premium Update

Charles Gaba has been diligently tracking requests for 2019 Obamacare premium hikes, and he’s got good news and bad news. The good news is that insurance companies are requesting lower rates this year. If things were normal, rates would be going down about 5 percent next year.

The bad news is that things aren’t normal. Republicans have been busily sabotaging Obamacare as best they can, partly by refusing to pay Cost Sharing Reduction payments and partly by eliminating the tax fine for not being covered. Insurance companies have to account for these uncertainties, and as a result the average premium request is about 4 percent higher than last year.

So there you have it. We could have had a 5 percent cut, but thanks to the endless Republican bitterness toward Obamacare, we’re getting a 4 percent increase instead. For those of you who are my age and aren’t receiving subsidies, that’s a difference of about $1,000 or so per year. Be sure to thank the Republican Party when you write the check.

For those of you who do receive subsidies, nothing much should change either way. Your premium will max out at a percentage of your income, and that’s that. Drink a toast to the Democratic Party when you write your check.