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Health Insurance Cost to Increase in Maine

Armen Hareyan's picture

Affordable health insurance is looking like harder and harder to achieve as obstacles to president Obama's health care reform are piling up daily. Among many hurdles are the increasing costs of current health insurance plans. Anthem Blue Cross, for example, has announced plans to increase premiums and in California and now in Maine.

To be sure health insurance companies are not on the way to the poor house. Rather, companies like Wellpoint, the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross have continually posted profits. To impose heavier premiums on individual health insurance plans seems a bit excessive.

In Maine, Anthem Blue recently requested to raise individual rates by as much as 23 percent. One in 10 residents of Maine currently lack health insurance. If health insurance rates do go up as planned, this could mean that the millions of individuals who can barely buy insurance may not be able to keep up the payments.

Despite the fact that the health insurance rate hikes will most likely not affect those covered under their employers, it will have a huge impact on the majority of Americans. For the millions who are uninsured, the only real option aside from government assistance is to buy individual policies. These are already over-priced with extremely high deductibles.

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If the trend continues, more and more Americans will opt out of health insurance all together. This will then cause a domino effect forcing health insurance companies to raise premiums to cover the costs of sick individuals who need health insurance to help pay medical bills.

Health Insurance Reform Looks Harder to Achieve

One small victory has been achieved. Anthem Blue Cross of California announced that it will delay its proposed 39 percent increase to individual health insurance plans. In Maine, the Bureau of Insurance will begin hearings on the matter later in the month.

The increase in insurance premiums across the nation coupled with Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts reveals a rocky path for health insurance reform. If Obama is to achieve success, many measures will have to be approved. This may take longer than expected. Bi-partisan politics and health care reform makes it seemingly impossible to implement real change.

Written by Lani Shadduck