Medical insurers in six states want an average premium rate increase of 18.6% for 2016.

That’s according to Investor’s Business Daily. In Tennessee, the dominant insurer wants a 36.3% hike. Maryland insurers are seeking about 30% more. Oregon insurers want a 23% raise.

Other states’ insurers expect to submit similar sky-high rate requests.

It’s due to the expiration of key taxpayer subsidies to the insurance companies next year. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) included these subsidies as a way for everyone—taxpayers, insurers, and insurees—to “ease” into the new system. The subsidies are going away soon… but health care costs continue to rise.

Take Moda Health, for example. It serves about half of Oregon’s individual health enrollee market. In 2014, Moda’s costs exceeded its premium income by 61.5%. In 2015, it raised rates 10.4%. Now, with the taxpayer subsidies going away in 2016, Moda is asking for a 25.6% premium increase.

The taxpayer will again be on the hook to cover any funding gaps.

This should surprise no one. It’s the result of a system with zero incentive to reduce costs.

Regular Daily readers know free markets bring costs down on their own. When doctors and insurers have to compete for customers, the consumer benefits from lower prices and higher-quality care. (We’ve noted free market medical alternatives have slashed surgical costs by 77% here.)

Our resident medical researcher, Bob Irish, has completed his extensive report on how to harness the free market medical alternatives available today. It’s a kind of “Obamacare survival guide.” Look for it to hit all paid subscribers’ inboxes soon…

In the meantime, you may want to read America’s Bitter Pill. It chronicles the money, politics, and backroom deals made to bring the current “system” into being.