The Latest: Walker blames 'Obamacare' for big premium jumps
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Latest on Wisconsin insurance officials saying premiums will jump 36 percent on average for individual coverage purchased through the federal exchange (all times local):
Gov. Scott Walker says a projected 36 percent jump in average premiums for Wisconsinites buying health coverage through the federal exchange show that "Obamacare" is collapsing.
Walker says the increases show that the changes championed by former President Barack Obama are not working to deliver affordable health care.
Walker says if federal officials don't repeal and replace the law, Wisconsin will seek greater flexibility from them to do what it can to lower costs for citizens.
Wisconsin's deputy insurance commissioner attributed the projected rate hikes to decreasing competition - three insurers are quitting the exchange - and to the assumption that the White House and Congress won't pay subsidies to help cover poorer consumers.
Wisconsin insurance officials say average premiums will jump 36 percent for people buying health coverage through the federally run exchange.
The average increase for small groups buying coverage through the exchange is expected to be nearly 5 percent.
About 75,000 people will have to find new providers as three health care companies - Anthem, Molina and Health Tradition - leave the exchange.
The figures were released Thursday ahead of the enrollment period that begins Nov. 1.
Deputy Commissioner of Insurance J.P. Wieske attributed the rate increases to decreased competition and the assumption that the White House and Congress won't pay "cost sharing" subsidies that help cover deductibles and copayments for low-income consumers.
About 215,000 people are in the individual market. Wieske said those losing coverage have been notified by the insurers.
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