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ObamaCare Premiums Set To Spike In 2017

- June 15, 2016

A New Kaiser Family Foundation Study Highlights Increasing Healthcare Costs Under ObamaCare. "Premiums for popular low-cost medical plans under the federal health care law are expected to go up an average of 11 percent next year, said a study that reinforced reports of sharp increases around the country in election season. For consumers, the impact will depend on whether they get government subsidies for their premiums, as well as on their own willingness to switch plans to keep the increases more manageable, said the analysis released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report: New Evidence Of Rising 'Obamacare' Premiums," The Associated Press, 06/15/16)

"'Premiums Are Going Up Faster In 2017 Than They Have In Past Years,' Said Cynthia Cox, Lead Author Of The Analysis." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report: New Evidence Of Rising 'Obamacare' Premiums," The Associated Press, 06/15/16)

ObamaCare Premium Increases Could Harm Directly Impact Up To 7 Million Individuals. "Most workers and their families are covered by employers, but about 12 million people get private coverage through HealthCare.gov and online insurance markets run by states. Nearly 7 in 10 pick silver plans, a mid-tier option that allows consumers with low to modest incomes to also get financial help with out-of-pocket costs when they receive medical care. Income-based premium subsidies designed to keep pace with costs will cushion the impact for many. But not all consumers get help. About 2 million marketplace customers make too much to qualify for the subsidies. And an estimated 3 million to 5 million people who buy their policies outside of markets like HealthCare.gov do not receive financial assistance." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report: New Evidence Of Rising 'Obamacare' Premiums," The Associated Press, 06/15/16)

Premium Increases Are Hitting The "Lowest Cost Plans" And Majority Of Marketplace Enrollees Including Healthy Middle Aged People

Of 14 Metropolitan Areas Reviewed, 12 Will See A Premium Increase On The "Lowest Cost" Silver Plan Option. " The Kaiser study looked at 14 metro areas for which complete data on insurer premium requests is already available. It found that premiums for a level of insurance called the 'lowest-cost silver plan' will go up in 12 of the areas, while decreasing in two." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report: New Evidence Of Rising 'Obamacare' Premiums,"The Associated Press, 06/15/16)

  • NOTE: 68% Of Marketplace Enrollees Have Silver Healthcare Plans. "We focus on silver plans because they are the basis for federal premium subsidies1 and because these are the plans that most marketplace enrollees (68%) tend to choose. These cities represent major population centers in each state; premiums and insurer participation may be different in rural areas." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Weighted Average Premium Increases For The Lowest Cost Silver Plan In 2017 Is Expected To Increase 11 Percent. "Across the 14 cities we examined, the premium for the lowest-cost silver plan is increasing by a weighted average of 11% in 2017, though changes vary geographically ranging from a decrease of 14% in Providence, Rhode Island, to an increase of 26% in Portland, Oregon. From the creation of the exchange markets in 2014 to 2017, the lowest-cost silver premium will have increased an average of 5% per year across these 14 areas, if 2017 proposed rates are not changed through the review process." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Denver, Colorado Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 14 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Richmond, Virginia Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 12 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, New York City Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 16 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Washington, D.C. Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 21 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Portland, Oregon Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 26 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

ObamaCare Premium Increases Are Hurting The Healthy. "Among the cities studied, the monthly premium for a 40-year-old nonsmoker in 2017 will range from $192 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to $482 in Burlington, Vermont." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report: New Evidence Of Rising 'Obamacare' Premiums," The Associated Press, 06/15/16)

ObamaCare Premium Increases For The Second "Lowest Cost Plans" Are Set To Double 2016 Increases

Premium Increases For 2017 Are Expected To Double That Of 2016 For The Second Lowest Cost Silver ObamaCare Plans. "On average, proposed premiums for the second-lowest silver plan in these cities are increasing by 10%, up from 5% in 2016." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Weighted Average Premium Increases For The Second Lowest Silver Plan In 2017 Is 10 Percent. "Similar patterns can be seen for the second-lowest silver plan in each city. Before accounting for any tax credit that subsidizes premiums for low and middle income people, the premium for the second-lowest silver plan is increasing by a weighted average of 10% from 2016. By contrast, the average change in the second-lowest silver plan in these cities was 5% from 2015 to 2016." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Richmond, Virginia Second Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 9 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Denver, Colorado Second Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 10 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, New York City Second Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 16 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Washington, D.C. Second Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 16 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

In 2017, Portland, Oregon Second Lowest Cost Silver Premiums Are Expected To Rise 18 Percent. (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Rising Healthcare Costs Could Force Many Middle Class Americans To Change Their Plans, Insurers And Doctors

Staying In the Same Insurance Plan As 2016 Could Result In A 20 Percent Premium Increase For Enrollees. "The effect of changes in the benchmark premium relative to other plans is magnified for subsidized enrollees because the tax credit is tied to the premium for the second-lowest silver plan in a given year. If the same 40 year-old in the example above makes $30,000, she would be paying $208 per month in 2016 for the benchmark plan (offered by BCBS) and the federal government covers the rest through a tax credit. In 2017, if she switches to the new benchmark (offered by Neighborhood), she would continue to pay about $208 per month (assuming she continues to have the same income and family size in 2016). However, if she stayed in the BCBS plan, she would have to pay that amount plus the premium difference between the Neighborhood and BCBS plans, or a total of approximately $250 (an increase of about 20%, before accounting for a relatively small effect of aging one year and before accounting for any amount attributable to non-essential health benefits that may be covered by either plan). To keep her lower premium, she has to be willing to switch plans." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

  • In Order To Keep Premium Costs Down In 2017 Enrollees Will Likely Have To Change Their Plans. "2016, a 40-year-old single enrollee making $30,000 per year would have paid about $208 per month in most areas of the country, and a similar person would pay approximately the same in 2017. (Although premium caps are increasing for 2017, the poverty guidelines are also changing such that a single person making $30,000 will be at a slightly lower percent of poverty than he or she would be this year. These two changes in effect cancel each other out, leaving monthly payments for the benchmark plan very similar from year-to-year.) However, in order to take advantage of this stability in premium payments, enrollees may need to switch plans to the new benchmark silver plan." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Year Over Year Premium Increases Are Causing Enrollees To Switch Plans Every Year. "Experience in this market suggests that a sizable share of people enrolling in 2017 will actively shop for coverage. A research brief by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) found that about two-thirds of Healthcare.gov enrollees actively shopped in 2016, including 43% of renewing enrollees and all new shoppers. While several reports of premium increases had suggested that premiums would increase in the double digits in 2016, the ASPE analysis found that, after accounting for shopping, marketplace premiums increased 8% before subsidies. For enrollees receiving a subsidy, the increase in the amount they paid was 4% on average." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Obamacare Costs Are Once Again Resulting In People Losing Their Doctors And Insurers . "In addition to switching plans, enrollees may also have to switch insurance companies in order to avoid a significant premium increase, which could involve changing doctors as well." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

At A Town Hall, Clinton Told A Woman To Just "Keep Shopping" To Avoid Her High Premiums. CLINTON: "OK. Well, first of all, let me say I want very much to get the costs down, and that is going to be my mission, because I do think that for many, many people, but there are exceptions like what you are telling me, having the Affordable Care Act has reduced costs, has created a real guarantee of insurance, because if you'd had a pre-existing condition under the old system, you wouldn't have gotten affordable insurance. So it has done a lot of really good things, but, it has become increasingly clear that we are going to have to get the costs down. And what I would like to see happen for you and your family is that if we can get the co-pays down, the deductibles down, get the prescription drug costs under control, that you would find an affordable plan on your exchange. And one thing that I would like you to do, and I'm not saying it's going to make a difference, but I would like you to just go shopping on that exchange. As I understand it, Ohio has the federal exchange, is that right, Joyce? Because they did not set up a state exchange. So you have the federal exchange. And to go on and keep looking to see what the prices are, because we have to get more competition back into the insurance market. One thing that I want to work on with my friends from Congress who are here is we've got the get more non-profits that are capable of selling insurance back into the insurance market. You know, Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be non-profits. And then they transferred themselves into for-profit companies. And there was some effort made under the Affordable Care Act to get some competition from non-profit institutions, some of them worked and a lot of them didn't. I want to know what we can do, because if you could get a range of insurers, some of who were not-for-profit companies, that would lower costs. So there is a number of things I am looking at. And what I want to assure you and your family of is I will do everything I can as president, working with members of Congress where necessary, to try to get the costs down. But I do want you to keep shopping, because what you are telling me is much higher than what I hear from other families, and so I want to be sure that if there is a better option out there for you, you're going to be able to take advantage of it." ( Remarks At Democratic Presidential Primary Town Hall , Columbus, Ohio, 3/13/16)

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ObamaCare Cost Increases And Market Consolidation Are Predicted To Be Worse In 2017 Than Previous Years With No End In Sight

7 Metropolitan Areas Will Have Less Insurance Providers In 2017 Than They Had In 2016. "We also find that some states will have fewer insurers participating in 2017 than participated in 2016. On average across these 14 marketplaces, participation is down slightly from 2016 but similar to that of 2014. In the 14 marketplaces included in this analysis, half (7) will see insurer participation remain steady or increase, while the other 7 states will see a drop in the number of issuers, in many cases due to the withdrawal of UnitedHealth." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Cheapest Insurance Providers From 2016 Have Been Forced Out Of The Marketplace By Obamacare. "As was the case last year, the insurers that had the lowest premiums in 2016 are often no longer one of the two lowest-cost silver plans in 2017. This underscores the importance of enrollees actively shopping each open enrollment period." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Insurer Participation Is Projected To Decline For Three Consecutive Years. "The number of insurers participating in these states' marketplaces ranges from 2 in Vermont, DC, and Rhode Island, to 15 in New York. On average, 5.5 insurers (grouped by parent company) will offer coverage in these 14 states in 2017, which is slightly less than the average participation in 2015 and 2016 (an average of 6.4 and 5.9, respectively), and equal to the number that participated in 2014 (5.5 on average)." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

Seven Of The Fourteen States Surveyed Will See A Reduction In Insurance Provider Participation. "Seven states will see a drop in insurer participation, most often resulting at least in part from UnitedHealth's broad exit from the individual market in most states. Three states (Maine, New Mexico, and Virginia) will see an increase in insurer participation, and the remaining three states plus the District of Columbia will have the same number of insurers participating in 2017 as in 2016. All insurers may not participate statewide, and rural areas in particular tend to have fewer insurers." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

ObamaCare Related Healthcare Cost Increases Should Be Expected For Years To Come . "Medicare and Medicaid administrator Andy Slavitt, whose agency also oversees the health law, said in a speech last week that the health insurance markets are still in an early trial-and-error stage. He estimated that could go on for another couple of years, or well into the next president's term." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report: New Evidence Of Rising 'Obamacare' Premiums," The Associated Press, 06/15/16)

"Recent Reports of Substantial Increases From Some Insurers Have Led To Concerns Regarding The Stability Of The ACA's Marketplaces." "There is reason to believe that premium increases in the ACA's marketplaces will be higher in 2017 than in recent years." (Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton and Larry Levitt and Michelle Long and Selena Gonzales and Nolan Sroczynski, "Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces," Kaiser Family Foundation , 06/15/16)

As Americans Are Burdened By ObamaCare, Clinton Remains One It's Primary Cheerleaders

Clinton Called ObamaCare One Of The "Greatest Accomplishments" Of The United States. CLINTON: "But the fact is, we have the Affordable Care Act. That is one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party, and of our country." (Hillary Clinton, CNN's Presidential Primary Debate, Charleston, S.C., 1/17/16)

At A San Francisco Fundraiser, Clinton "Expressed Her Full Support" For The Affordable Care Act And Shared Her Intention To "Strengthen Obama Care." " At the San Francisco gathering, Hillary Clinton expressed her full support of The Affordable Care Act and her intention to strengthen ObamaCare." (Bob Burnett, "Hillary Clinton: First Impressions," Huffington Post, 5/14/15)


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