Rural Nebraskans hit with big ObamaCare rate hikes

Allan Douglas has been selling insurance since the 1980s, and as the owner of an independent insurance agency in Omaha he had a front row view of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Not only because he helps clients navigate the health care law, commonly called ObamaCare, but because he also had to navigate it himself, since he buys his own insurance. As enrollment began Saturday for the second year of the program, people on ObamaCare plans began getting letters from their insurance companies explaining rate changes.

“Our phones are starting to light up,” said Douglas, who owns Pioneer Interstate Insurance. “Most (rates) are doubling.”

He also got a letter from his insurance company informing him his premium will double next year, from $594 to $1,204 per month, if he qualifies for a $260 monthly federal tax credit again.

He’s 50 years old and has a healthy family of six, with four children under the age of 16. He’s not sure he’ll qualify for the tax credit this year, in which case he’d pay $1,464 per month — or $17,568 per year — with a $2,000 deductible. His premium and deductible would chew up almost 20 percent of his household income.

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