Double-Digit Obamacare Premium Increases Expected In 16 Of 21 Major Cities

Obamacare Premiums Set to Rise in 16 of 21 Major Cities, According to New Study from Kaiser Family Foundation

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of cities will have double digit increases in healthcare insurance premiums as more and more insurance companies drop out of the Obamacare marketplace.

In their analysis, the Foundation looked at the second-lowest silver plan (the most popular plan) in the largest city of 20 different states and Washington DC.  They argued that these plans are the benchmarks for premium tax credits.

From the report:

A number of insurers have requested double-digit premium increases for 2018. Based on initial filings, the change in benchmark silver premiums will likely range from -5% to 49% across these 21 major cities. These rates are still being reviewed by regulators and may change.

Of the 21 major cities evaluated, only 1 will see a premium decrease, whereas 16 will see double-digit increases in these silver plan premiums in 2018.

Aside from numerous insurers abandoning the Obamacare marketplace, these premium increases are partly due to the uncertainty of the laws surrounding healthcare.

As explained by the Foundation:

Insurers in this market face new uncertainty in the current political environment and in some cases have factored this into their premium increases for the coming year. Specifically, insurers have been unsure whether the individual mandate (which brings down premiums by compelling healthy people to buy coverage) will be repealed by Congress or to what degree it will be enforced by the Trump Administration. Additionally, insurers in this market do not know whether the Trump Administration will continue to make payments to compensate insurers for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which are the subject of a lawsuit, or whether Congress will appropriate these funds.

This is reflected by the number of insurers in the Obamacare marketplace decreasing on a per state average from 6.7 in 2015 to 4.6 in 2018 (projected).

Although premiums are going up, the study also finds that tax credits used by the majority (84%) of those enrolled in Obamacare would offset premium increases that customers would have to pay. Customers would actually have, on average, a decrease in per month spending of 2.9% ($207 to $201) on healthcare.

However, where this is cosmetically pleasing, the actuality of Obamacare’s death-spiral will soon bring this farce of “lowering after-tax premiums” to a halt.

As previously mentioned, the number of insurers staying in the Obamacare marketplace has been declining rapidly.

Take a look at this chart by Axios showing how many insurers states have lost from 2016-2017.

Less competition means overall higher prices for consumers. It’s why Obamacare and its potential double and triple digit premium increases were a huge part of the sweeping victory Republicans had in the 2016 election. Even if premiums were held at bay, Obamacare is set to implode because of heavy mismanagement and poorly drafted regulations.

With all of this, Republicans should take heed and start taking healthcare seriously. President Trump has been applying pressure to a so-far lazy Congress 7 months into his administration.

Congress should stop politicking and actually pass something with a history of widespread support: repealing Obamacare.

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