STATEMENT: Insurance Commissioner Doak’s warning of premium increase not based on real data

Oklahoma Policy Institute released the following statement about Insurance Commissioner John Doak’s claims that insurance premiums will “skyrocket” next year due to the Affordable Care Act:

The Insurance Commissioner has issued an inflammatory press release predicting huge increases in Oklahoma’s insurance rates. His claims are not based on data, but rather on informal conversations that his staff apparently had with some insurance carriers. Commissioner Doak’s statement is in line with his political opposition to the Affordable Care Act, but it does not reflect an impartial assessment of real insurance rates.

Since the new health plans offered on the exchange will offer comprehensive benefits, comparing next year’s rates with those currently in effect is unlikely to offer an apples-to-apples comparison. In addition, many people are currently refused coverage because of pre-existing conditions, a practice that will no longer be permitted in the new marketplaces. Finally, the availability of tax credits for consumers with incomes up to four times the poverty level means that most people will be paying less than the full cost. Altogether, this means that Commissioner Doak’s claim of skyrocketing insurance costs is unpersuasive.


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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