State Agencies Tightlipped About Premiums

State Agencies Tightlipped About Premiums

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Tom Walsh expected his premiums with Blue Cross to go up. But not this much.

“I pay $437 a month. Due to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, have raised my rates to get the same coverage to $990 a month,” says Walsh.

Annually, he went from paying $5,200 to $12,000 to cover his family. He thought he’d go on to compare rates to see what others were getting. Easier said than done.

“It sent me an email to confirm my password. I checked my email then it kicked me out. It said I didn’t check my email fast enough and I checked in within two minutes. I finally got on to check rates.

It then asked him for his name, social security number, income information and other personal information. He got on a live chat, but they sent him to an 800 number. After half an hour, he finally reached a live person and asked to compare rates.

“And I’m not going to give you all this personal information. They said, well you have to. I asked why, and they couldn’t tell me why they just kept repeating the requirement that I had to.”

Walsh hung up and turned back to his letter from Blue Cross. We reached out for answers.

We reached out to state insurance commissioner Mark Fowler earlier today who said he can’t make any comment at all because it is a federal issue. We reached out to Governor Bentley’s office and was told by a spokesperson that even though Governor Bentley is opposed to the Affordable Care Act, opting to not even have a state-run exchange program, that they can’t make a comment either for the same reason.

Walsh says the blame is not with Blue Cross, but with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Before, you could insure a family of 10 children for the same amount, but now each one has to be insured individually.

 “And you’re having a substantial financial hit and this is devastating to people.”

Walsh suspects he will have to find some way to come up with the $990 a month.

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