by James T. Mulder
July 27, 2014
Consumers are giving the state an earful about proposed rate increases that could boost monthly premiums on Obamacare plans in Central New York anywhere from 2 percent to more than 20 percent.
Consumers can submit comments about the proposed rates to the state Department of Financial Services.
Here is a sampling of comments that have already been submitted. The state redacted the names of commenters.
- "The government literally forced everyone to get insurance and promised reasonable rates. Fidelis was all I could afford even with the tax credit. Now Fidelis claims it isn't making enough profit so it will raise its rates. What about me? I am not getting a raise to cover the increase and when I lose money it comes out of the groceries. This all smells like a scam and I am tired of being abused."
- "Under the current plan (Fidelis), I pay out-of-pocket monthly premiums of $394.85 and am expected to receive a state tax credit equivalent to $295 per month. My annual deductible is $1,750 and I have varying copayment amounts ranging from $30 to $1,500, depending on the type of services sought. I can barely afford the out-of-pocket costs as they are now, and to increase them would force me to go without health coverage."
- "Are you kidding me? A rate increase for Excellus? There is nothing affordable about Obamacare. The policy I have is $450 a month. I am partially subsidized, but it pays for nothing. Every time I have to go to a doctor for something I am charged the full price. Oh, it will be applied to my deductible, but by the time I satisfy my $1,700 (deductible) it will probably be a new year and I will have to start all over again. Even with my subsidy, the monthly charge for my coverage is $265. How is a working waitress, getting by week to week, supposed to deal with this system?"
- "I recently retired due to becoming a caregiver for my 99-year-old father, along with caring for my husband. I am 63 and not old enough for Medicare. With limited income I do not qualify to get financial assistance to help me pay my premium each month. With the proposed 20.8 percent increase (from Excellus) and my fixed income, it will be difficult for me to pay my premium. Those of us who are trying to obey the law by obtaining insurance are finding it difficult to live paying these high premiums."