Obamacare’s Steady Progression

Washington Post: “Obamacare’s opponents have heralded reports from various parts of the country warning of double-digit percentage increases in insurance premiums proposed over the past couple of months. (These are premiums for individuals buying insurance on ACA marketplaces; employer-sponsored plans, which most Americans have, are not the primary focus of the law.) For example: Even after regulator review, Oregon’s largest ACA marketplace insurance plan will hike its 2016 premiums by 25 percent, and its second largest by 33 percent.”

“Big increases in the price of one insurance product, however, don’t necessarily represent overall trends. The Kaiser Family Foundation has produced a comprehensive study of 2016 premium increases and found that benchmark plans in 10 states and the District are rising an average of only 4.4 percent. Some insurers are decreasing their premiums by double digit percentages next year; others are increasing them by double digit percentages; many others are seeing relatively modest changes. The Department of Health and Human Services found in June that ‘most people will be enrolled in plans with proposed rate increases of less than 10 percent.'”

“True, average numbers won’t be comfortable to those facing double-digit premium increases in an insurance plan they like. Yet these customers aren’t locked into that plan. An HHS study released Thursday found that market competition increased markedly in 2015, and Obama administration officials predict it will again in 2016. People, in other words, have options.”

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