Of course, the health insurance industry stands to gain a lot if health care reform with mandatory insurance and no public option is in place. Maybe the move of drastically raising individual health insurance premiums is a ploy to force something close to the current set of bills in Congress through and stifle any new debate on how to fund reform and cover the uninsured. I’m guessing the industry sees its future as something of a complete spin of the roulette wheel with a lot of possible outcomes and just a few that are favorable to its interests. Crazy moves with this bad of PR strike of a desperate attempt to influence that spin.
From the first link:
AP reports that insurance companies in at least four states are raising their premiums for individual insurance policies (those that people have to buy themselves, because they don’t get coverage from an employer) by 15% or more. To give you a sense of what we are talking about if these rates go into effect, a family of four in Maine (which is a relatively poor state) can expect to pay $1,876 a month–about $22,500 a year–for health insurance, starting in July.
And this is just the beginning of what we can expect to see pretty much everywhere:
Premiums are far more volatile for individual policies than for those bought by employers and other large groups, which have bargaining clout and a sizable pool of people among which to spread risk. As more people have lost jobs, many who are healthy have decided to go without health insurance or get a bare-bones, high-deductible policy, reducing the amount of premiums insurers receive.