by Robert Maynard
People from all around the country have been experiencing sticker shock when they sign up for the ObamaCare exchanges. That is the ones who were actually able to sign up. It looks like the “Affordable Care Act” has not made health care very affordable. Unfortunately for Vermonters, the rates we are looking at are shaping up to make the rest of the nation’s sticker shock seem like a good deal. As it turns out, Vermont exchange premiums are among the highest in the nation. Here is an excerpt from a Vermont Digger article on the subject:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP Health Care are the only two insurers participating in the new market, and they are each offering nine plans.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield silver plan, which costs $412.83 a month, compares to the national average for the second-lowest cost silver plans of $328. The Blue Cross silver plan, at $395.26 a month, compares to the average for the lowest cost silver plans of $310. And the MVP Health Care bronze plan, at $336.13, compares to the national average for lowest cost bronze plans of $249.
The authors of the federal analysis point to a link between weak market competition and high premiums.
“States with the lowest average premium tend to have a higher average number of issuers offering qualified health plans,” the authors wrote. “There are, on average, 8 issuers participating in the Marketplace in the states with average premiums in the lowest quartile, compared to an average of 3 issuers in states with average premiums in the highest quartile.”
As has been pointed out here at True North before, Vermont’s political leadership had wrecked the health insurance industry decades ago. The way the exchange was set up in this state was just the icing on the cake.