Obamacare Causes Oklahoma Health Insurance Rates to Skyrocket

Some consumers will see increases of more than 100 percent

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said Tuesday that Oklahomans should prepare to pay more for health insurance in the federally facilitated marketplace mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Our fears have been confirmed,” said Doak. “For some consumers, the cost of health insurance will increase significantly. This is more proof that ObamaCare will hurt Oklahoma families and businesses. I continue to support Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s lawsuit to overturn this overreaching and potentially disastrous federal law.”

After filings were made by the insurers that plan to offer products in the marketplace, the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) has learned that health insurance rate increases in individual markets range from 30 percent to more than 100 percent. These changes affect both new policies effective in 2014 and existing policies as they are renewed in 2014 and amended to conform to the law’s requirements. The actual rate for an individual will depend on several factors, including age, geographical location and tobacco use.

The leading drivers of the increased rates are:

  • The morbidity factor or market risk of guaranteed-issue entrants with no annual or lifetime limits;
  • The incorporation of Essential Health Benefits to make plans ACA compliant;
  • Taxes and fees being passed through the rates to the consumer.

“From an actuarial standpoint, this confirms the obvious,” said OID Chief Actuary Frank Stone. “Insurers must increase their premiums due to the additional requirements of ObamaCare.”

The rate increase for the small group market is expected to range from 10 percent to 25 percent. The increase is smaller because the small group market has had guaranteed issue since 1995.

Individual consumers may not have to pay the full premium for health insurance due to federal tax credit subsidies, which create an additional hidden cost to Oklahoma taxpayers.

If you would like a copy of the filings, please email your request to Kelly.Collins@oid.ok.gov.

About the Oklahoma Insurance Department

The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.