WASHINGTON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Forecasts by some U.S. states that show health insurance costs skyrocketing under Obamacare are “factually incorrect,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Monday, saying the administration will set the record straight in September.
Sebelius, President Barack Obama’s top healthcare adviser, did not name the states.
“It’s unfortunate that in some instances, I think, erroneous information is being advanced as if these are the final rates available in the marketplace and that this is what consumers will be paying. And that’s just not accurate,” she told reporters on a conference call.
Several Republican-controlled states including Indiana, Florida and Georgia have warned in recent weeks of unprecedented spikes in coverage costs for new plans that will be sold via online insurance exchanges to millions of uninsured Americans beginning on Oct. 1.
These states have rejected Obamacare by opting to let the administration establish a federal marketplace for their residents rather than build their own. In contrast, states that have embraced Obama’s healthcare reforms have said that new plans to be sold in their exchanges will save money for residents when coverage begins next year.
Sebelius said one unnamed state estimated costs by simply averaging the premiums on all health plans proposed by insurers, while a second provided little supporting data for its conclusions.
“The information statements put out at the state level are just factually incorrect,” Sebelius said.
She vowed to “clarify once and for all what these rates are” by releasing complete information in September.
Sebelius initially had said the Department of Health and Human Services would set the record straight on Sept. 1. But an official said the disclosure would come later in September, after contracts with insurers have been finalized.