Obamacare customers in Arizona are going to face stiff rate hikes of up to 75 percent for some plans, the latest state to approve double-digit increases for 2017 plans.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona plans to raise Obamacare premiums by 51 percent, and Centene Corp. will sell plans in only Maricopa County at a rate of 74.5 percent, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.
Blue Cross will not sell plans in Maricopa, but it did agree earlier this year to sell plans in Pinal County after news reports that the county would not have any Obamacare insurers.
Arizona is the latest state to face big premium increases.
An independent estimate from the website acasignups.net said that 41 states have approved an average 25 percent rate hikes for individual market plans. The website emphasized that the increases include plans sold off the exchange in the individual market, which is for people who don't get insurance through their job.
The Department of Health and Human Services said the top-line marketplace rates don't reflect what most consumers pay.
"In 2016, average premiums for the three-quarters of Arizona consumers with tax credits decreased by $3 per month, or 2 percent, even though headline rates rose," said HHS press secretary Jonathan Gold.
Tax credits also rise to match any premium increases.
Gold added that for the 53 percent of people in Arizona with employer coverage, premiums "have grown at some of the slowest rates on record since the Affordable Care Act was enacted."
When asked about the remaining one-quarter of Arizona customers who don't get tax credits, Gold said that "all consumers can shop around to find the best plan for them. In 2016, consumers could choose among an average of 10 plans per issuer.