Jun 5, 2018

Affordable Care Act premiums keep going up

Dentist's office in rural Nebraska. Photo: Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Two more states have released proposed rates for the next year of Affordable Care Act coverage and, no surprise, they’re all pretty steep.

The details: Insurers in Washington state’s individual market are seeking a 19% increase, on average, the state said yesterday. Specific insurers’ hikes range from less than 1% up to nearly 30%. In New York, the average proposed increase is 24%.

Key caveats:

  • These are proposed rates — the final increases could be different.
  • We all want to see an average, to get a handle on the overall situation, but mileage will vary considerably from one insurer to the next. The increases they’re seeking for next year depend in part on how much they raised their rates this year (some, for example, had already accounted for the possibility of losing the individual mandate).
  • Consumers’ actual premium costs will depend on their age, where they live, whether they smoke, and whether they get financial help from the government.

Yes, but: The trendline here is real. New York regulators attributed about half the proposed increase in average premiums to the loss of the individual mandate, and insurers have been clear that regulatory moves from the Trump administration are also making them nervous.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

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Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow7 hours ago - World