The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that the average increase for a plan obtained through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, exchanges will increase by 25% for the 2017 coverage year.
Also included in the report was a breakdown of cost increases for states around the US. The estimates attempted to set a middle of the road bar, using price estimates for a 27-year-old male buying the second-lowest priced silver plan (there are three metal levels: bronze, silver, and gold).
There is a wide range of increases across states, with Indiana and Massachusetts seeing an average 3% decline in costs while Arizona tops out with a 116% average increase.
Many of the states seeing serious increases share similar traits: they have not expanded Medicaid, they have a low number of insurers active in the state, and they have larger rural populations which are more expensive to cover.
The price changes have gained a lot of attention as insurers have pulled out of the exchanges due to large losses and critics of the law say the price increases show the law is in a “death spiral.” Supporters, however, cite the fact that 77% of those on the exchanges can get tax credits that would keep monthly payments under $100 and the recent increases only bring premium payments up to levels projected before the law passed.
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