Data show 2016 ACA premiums rising 11% on average

Americans insured under the Affordable Care Act may see their premiums increase in the new year.  According to a USA Today (12/17, O’Donnell) report, consumers that purchase coverage through federal and state exchanges are likely to see premium increases of an average of 11% in 2016.   The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conducted a recent premium survey of every marketplace plan from 2015 to 2016.  The survey includes all plans offered in the health insurance marketplaces in all 50 states, as well a comparison of Silver, Gold, and Bronze level plans.  The findings of the latest survey indicated an 11% increase in premiums for the popular silver-level plan, as well as a possible increase in plan deductibles.

The premium increases are higher for the gold-level plans, which require less out-of-pocket for care.  While the premium increases are above the 7.5% average that the Obama Administration claimed as a benchmark, it is expected that the market will stabilize as insurers find a balance between premiums and claims.  These increases are far more of a concern for middle-class consumers who are not eligible for premium subsidies.

While the rise in rates is higher than promised on the healthcare.gov website, experts point out that increases in health insurance premiums aren’t uncommon.  In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that the rate increase is modest compared to regular market rate adjustments before the Affordable Care Act, where double-digit increases were the average.   Experts encourage those who are looking at rate increases to simply shop around for new policies as there are a wide range of choices in the 2016 plans.

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Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 37 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 37 years. Steve Lipsky on Google Plus[/author_info] [/author]

Dr. Steven Lipsky

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