NORFOLK, Va. — If you have a medical emergency, costs for care can add up really quickly. Even with insurance that protects against unexpected costs, some in Virginia may be paying a little more on their premiums next year.
The State Corporation Commission expects 25,000 more Virginians to enroll in individual Affordable Care Act health coverage next year, while premiums will cost roughly 25 percent more than this year.
That's because the General Assembly hasn't yet agreed on a level of funding or premium reduction through a reinsurance program (the Commonwealth Health Reinsurance Program) that's in place to offset health carrier's costs and reduce premiums.
If premiums spike, some will feel the impact more than others.
"This would impact people who pay the entire premium themselves. Those are largely folks who have a little bit higher incomes but are small businesspeople or independent individual business owners. If insurance costs them less than 8.5% of their income, they will have to pay the entire premium increase," said Doug Gray, executive director for Virginia Association of Health Plans.
This year the program lowered rates by 17% at an estimated cost of $43 million to the state, according to the SCC.
When the open enrollment period starts in October, Virginia plans to debut a state exchange called Virginia Health Insurance Marketplace to run the call centers and answer questions.