News broke of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona remaining in the marketplace in Pinal County, Arizona late on Wednesday. Obamacare supporters will rejoice with a thunderous round of applause to the insurance company and positive vibes about how tax credits will keep costs low. But the folks in Pinal County have little to get excited about.
In 2016 residents of Pinal County had two insurers to choose from. The previously mentioned BCBS and United Health Care. UHC offered ten insurance options including Gold, Silver, and Bronze plans. All ten were PPO plans that included a more robust provider directory. With UHC exiting the market those are gone.
BCBS offered five plans. Two Silver plans and three Bronze plans. The lowest deductible with their plans is $2750 for single coverage. The two Silver plans were the highest and 3rd highest cost silver options available which should make them less appealing to shoppers. But the limited number of plans isn't the worst of Pinal County's concerns.
Cost is the number one driver for purchasers of insurance, which makes the accompanying statement from BCBS even more concerning. In their announcement to remain in the marketplace, their Senior VP of sales, strategy and marketing, Jeff Stelnik, said premiums will increase by 51%.
Obamacare is working for you Pinal County residents. You have an option. You have choices in that option. Be grateful for what you have. Because unless we eliminate this train wreck of a law the next time government talks about "health care reform" it will be for single payer.