Arizonans experiencing sticker shock as Obamacare premiums spike for some

Fewer choices and increasing costs leave many residents with highest premiums in the country

Some Arizona families are experiencing sticker shock after seeing their insurance premiums drastically increase. 

Arizona is facing the highest percentage increase in Affordable Care Act premiums in the country, jumping an average of 116 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Mark and Delores Kuhlwein are small business owners and said their premium is set to triple. 

The are currently paying just under $400. 

That is slated to jump up to $1,200 by January. 

The Marketplace in Maricopa County right now has only one insurance provider, leaving them with some difficult choices.

"At this point, it's not anything we can afford, it would mean not making a house payment," said Delores. 

"Our income fluctuates depending on our jobs, so that will be a struggle for us to come up with that money," said Mark. "I know there are a lot of people in our same boat. It's hard to come up with that much more money a month. It's almost like having a second mortgage."

An estimated 3.3 million Arizonans have private insurance. 

In contrast, about 180,000 Arizonans are enrolled in the Marketplace, and facing potentially similar situations as the Kuhlweins, who are still weighing their options. 

"I don't know what all the options are but we are definitely looking into that," said Mark.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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