Washington (CNN)Heath insurance is one of the many issues Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has made issue of in his campaign. CNN’s Reality Check Team spent the night putting those statements and assertions to the test.
The team of reporters, researchers and editors across CNN selected key statements and rated them true; mostly true; true, but misleading; false; or it’s complicated.
Reality Check: Trump on health care premiums rising
February 18, 2016
By Chip Grabow and Kevin Bohn, CNN
During the Republican Town Hall in South Carolina, Trump targeted Obamacare with the claim it has resulted in significant increases in health care premiums.
“Obamacare, as you know, is a disaster. Your rates are going up 25, 35, 45, 55%.”
It’s a claim Trump has made several times before in his campaign. But an October 2015 analysis of premium changes from 2015 to 2016 by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, a health research organization, shows some slightly different numbers.
Compiling data from health marketplaces in major cities of 50 states and Washington, D.C., KFF used as a benchmark rates from the second-lowest cost plan category known as “Silver.” The analysis used a 40-year-old non-smoker making $30,000 a year as an example.
The year-over-year changes in plan costs varied, with some cities experiencing reductions while others showed increases. The KFF reported the “benchmark premium ranges from -10.6% in Seattle, Washington, to 38.4% in Nashville, Tennessee.” The group went on to say “the simple average of the rate changes was 10.1% before accounting for the premium tax credit.”
So, looking at individual rate changes in specific cities, there were indeed increased rates as Trump claimed, with the largest increase being 38.4% in Nashville. An increase, yes, but not as high as the 45% and 55% increases Trump alleged. And, in fact, some regions saw rate decreases.
Verdict: True, but misleading.
Reality Check: Trump on insurance companies getting rich on Obamacare
February 6, 2016
By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney
Asked about his plan for health care, Donald Trump lashed out at insurers.
“The insurance companies are getting rich on Obamacare. The insurance companies are getting rich on health care and health services and everything having to do with health,” he said during the eighth Republican debate.
Certainly, insurers have been doing pretty well in recent years. Health care has been one of the “healthier” sectors of the economy, particularly as the nation ages and needs more medical services. Obamacare was expected to be a boon for insurers, bringing them millions of new customers who would obtain coverage on the individual insurance exchanges.
But whether insurers are actually getting rich on Obamacare is another matter. UnitedHealth likely wouldn’t agree with Trump. The insurance titan just reported it expects to lose nearly $1 billion on the individual health exchanges for 2015 and 2016, in large part because Obamacare enrollees are proving to be sicker and costlier than expected. To limit enrollment for 2016, it increased prices, eliminated marketing and commissions and withdrawn its top-tier products. And it is weighing exiting Obamacare next year.
Other large players, including Aetna and Anthem, have said recently that they are disappointed with their Obamacare exchange businesses.
Some smaller insurers have also suffered. At least a dozen cooperative insurers set up and funded by Obamacare failed in 2015.
In its third year, Obamacare has yet to prove yuuugely profitable for many insurers.