Updated: 06/27/2014 11:20 PM
Created: 06/27/2014 10:15 AM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams
Did you recently get a letter from your insurance provider claiming that your premium would be going up because of the Affordable Care Act? News10NBC got a lot of phone calls, emails and Facebook comments about this.
Thousands of letters went out to people who signed up for insurance last year under the Affordable Care Act. Some people learned their premiums could go up starting in January, as high as 26 percent. This is just a proposal. The state has to give approval.
Linda Brunner could not believe her eyes as she read a letter from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Linda Brunner said, “It will cost me an additional $85 for 2015 if I keep my current plan.”
Brunner says she is considering her options. One of them is getting a part time job. The Irondequoit resident isn’t alone. Thousands of people in the area received similar letters from Excellus, MVP and other insurance companies. The law requires them to notify their subscribers before going to the state to ask for a rate increase. Brunner says it is too much, too soon, after the Affordable Care Act took effect.
Brunner said, “It also makes healthcare more unaffordable, not only for me, but everyone.”
News10NBC reached out to both Excellus and MVP Friday afternoon for on-camera interviews. Both declined and we were directed to prepared statements.
In its statement, Excellus explained that it has spent $864 million more on its members over the last three years than what the federal government requires. MVP blames the continuing escalating costs of medical and pharmacy expenses. Both insurance companies blame the startup costs associated with the Affordable Care Act.
Webster retiree Sam Cappiello says there was no warning when he signed up about rate increases. Now he too is facing a possible 17 percent increase.
Sam Cappiello said, “Certainly, healthcare is important and I wouldn't want to jeopardize that, but it is still a thought in my mind that I may not be able to afford the premiums.”
A spokesperson for MVP says the amounts in the letters are averages. The increase is based on the individual plan. We were also told subscribers will be able to change their plans during the open enrollment period, which starts in October. Insurance companies are required to post the narrative summary of these proposed increases.