Columbus – Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor today announced the key findings of a report designed to analyze the impacts of Obamacare on Ohio’s consumers, businesses, and insurance market.
The report, conducted by Milliman, Inc., projects the impacts of the federal health care reform law starting in 2014, which is when most of the law’s provisions go into effect. The report shows significant changes that will increase premiums while dramatically expanding government programs.
"As I have been saying, the impacts of Obamacare will be widespread and expensive," Taylor said. "This report clearly shows what I have long predicted; Obamacare will result in bigger government, unsustainable costs, and ultimately, less consumer choice."
Specifically, Milliman's report projects that individual premiums in Ohio could increase by as much as 55 to 85 percent in 2014 not including current medical trend, which has been an average increase of 7 to 8 percent nationwide each year. Moreover, some individuals may see their premiums increase by 90 to 130 percent depending on their current health status, while others may see decreases.
Those in the small group market (employers with 2 to 50 employees) are projected to experience average increases of 5 to 15 percent in 2014, not including yearly medical trend increases. However, some small groups may see increases of up to 150 percent, while others may see decreases of 40 percent depending on the group's current health status.
In addition to significant changes to premium rates, more than 1 million Ohioans are expected to join the state's Medicaid rolls in 2014 and more than 500,000 expected to join the government-subsidized individual exchange. Consequently, as many as half of all Ohioans could be enrolled in some type of government-subsidized health coverage, including Medicare, when Obamacare is fully implemented.
"These results are alarming when you consider what is going to happen to Ohio's already competitive insurance market," Taylor added. "While Obamacare supporters may argue these changes are necessary to ensure access, the results mean even more financial burden on the backs of taxpayers."
As a part of the report, Milliman also projected costs for operating an exchange in Ohio. Any potential exchange would be implemented using federal dollars. However, Ohio would have to finance the annual operating cost of $19 to $34 million once the exchange is up and running (not including the costs of the exchange's IT systems).
"Ohio is in the midst of a challenging economic recovery and we just balanced our state budget in the face of an $8 billion budget hole," Taylor stressed. "Handcuffing states with Obamacare's one-size-fits-all approach is not the reform we need. Ohioans deserve a consumer-driven, market-based approach that provides adequate protections along with accountability, affordability and transparency. We do not need a government-knows-best set of mandates."
Milliman conducted its work at the request of the Ohio Department of Insurance. To view the full report, please visit http://www.ohioexchange.ohio.gov/Documents/MillimanReport.pdf.