Obamacare causes Oklahoma insurance rates to skyrocket
Prepare for big increases in health insurance costs. That's the message from insurance commissioner John Doak. He says some rates could increase by 100%.
Commissioner Doak says the rate increase will impact those in the federal exchange program. So the increase in rates won't necessarily affect everyone.
Some democrats say the numbers don't add up and they don't agree with the commissioner's statement.
State Representative Richard Morrissette said, "Healthcare premiums for people that don't have insurance is not going to go up. That's nothing but political gamesmanship by the insurance commissioner." Representative Morrissette says the idea of raising rates isn't true and it's just a scare tactic.
Commissioner Doak says he's done his research and information he has received from insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield and AETNA says rates will skyrocket.
"Oklahomans are going to see an increase in the range of 30-100%. Georgia is going to see a 200% increase or higher," said Commissioner Doak.
Doak points out that other states are seeing similar or even higher increases including Florida and Indiana. The insurance department's chief actuary says this confirms the obvious, insurers must increase premiums due to additional requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
"As we all work on this together in the next 14-15 days we are going to see the actual impact as the rates go into effect at the end of the year," said Doak.
Rep. Morrissette says he doesn't buy it. He says those who are obese, or who smoke or are older may see some increase, but the majority of Americans who are already insured won't see major changes.
"The whole idea of this is that everyone is insured so that costs over time will be reduced," said Rep. Morrissette.
Families and individuals who do not currently have insurance can start applying on October 1st. Enrollment continues until March 31st of 2014. If you do not have insurance by then, you will be charged a fee on your income tax return.