Insurers in Oregon who plan to participate in the Obamacare exchanges have posted rate increases for premiums that range from single to double digits.
The average, unsubsidized requests are 17.2 percent, according to independent analyst Charles Gaba, who writes ACASignups.net.
The rates are proposals that will ultimately be decided by the state's insurance division.
ATRIO, one of the insurers who plans to participate in the exchanges, said in its letter explaining the requested increase of 21.8 percent that premiums in 2016 were insufficient to cover claims, and that the numbers accounted for tobacco use. It also noted the re-implementation of the health insurance tax in 2018, a cost that insurers shift onto consumers in the form of higher premiums.
BrideSpan Health Company cited similar causes for requesting an increase of 17.2 percent, but also said that it expected fewer low-cost customers, meaning who use medical care less, would buy coverage in 2018.
PacificSource requested an increase of 6.9 percent and Providence Health Plan requested an increase of 21 percent.
The rates are being released as the Senate is trying to draft legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Insurers also are waiting to discover whether the Trump administration will pay out cost-sharing subsidies under the law. If they do not, then rates could become even higher or insurers could pull out of the exchanges.
Under Obamacare, most customers who enroll through the exchanges will receive a tax subsidy and will not personally feel the impact of the premium hike. Full premium increases, however, could affect anyone who makes more than $48,240 for an individual and $98,400 for a family of four.
The threshold also can vary depending on whether a person's medical expenses make up 9 percent of their income. Either way, the initial sticker shock can become ammunition for argument on both sides of the aisle.
Some companies stated that they are leaving the door open to submitting updated rates if the funds aren't paid, or to leaving the exchange entirely. Rates could increase by another 20 percent if the funds aren't paid.