- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Ohio Department of Insurance predicts premiums in 2014 will rise by 88 percent, a direct result of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The average cost of insurance premiums will stand about $420, “representing an increase of 88 percent” compared to 2013, the department reported, Forbes said.

State officials aren’t surprised. They’ve cautioned about the “rate shock” since the early days of Obamacare, Forbes reported.

“We have warned of these increases,” said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, in a statement reported by Forbes. “Consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014.”

Rates in August 2011 for Ohio residents were projected to increase between 55 percent and 85 percent. By March of 2013, those cost hikes had whittled to an 81 percent prediction.

“A total of 14 companies proposed rates for 214 plans to the Department [of Insurance] Projected costs from the companies for providing covered for the required — by Obamacare — essential health benefits ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health insurance plans,” Ms. Taylor’s statement read, Forbes reported.

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The Department of Insurance still has to approve the proposed rate hike, Forbes said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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