A new study conducted by Avalere and released earlier today found that Obamacare rates will surge an average of 34% across the country in 2018. Of course, this is in addition to the 113% average premium increase from 2013 and 2017, which brings the total 5-year increase to a staggering 185%.
Meanwhile, and to our complete shock no less, Avalere would like for you to know that the rate increases are almost entirely due to the Trump administration’s “failure to pay for cost-sharing reductions”…which is a completely reasonable guess if you’re willing to ignore the fact that 2018 premium increases are roughly in-line with the 29% constantly annualized growth rates experienced over the past 4 years before Trump ever moved into the White House…but that’s just math so who cares?
New analysis from Avalere finds that the 2018 exchange market will see silver premiums rise by an average of 34%. According to Avalere’s analysis of filings from Healthcare.gov states, exchange premiums for the most popular type of exchange plan (silver) will be 34% higher, on average, compared to last year.
“Plans are raising premiums in 2018 to account for market uncertainty and the federal government’s failure to pay for cost-sharing reductions,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere. “These premium increases may allow insurers to remain in the market and enrollees in all regions to have access to coverage.”
Avalere experts attribute premium increases to a number of factors, including elimination of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, lower than anticipated enrollment in the marketplace, limited insurer participation, insufficient action by the government to reimburse plans that cover higher cost enrollees (e.g., via risk corridors), and general volatility around the policies governing the exchanges. The vast majority of exchange enrollees are subsidized and can avoid premium increases, if they select the lowest or second lowest cost silver plan in their region. However, some unsubsidized consumers who pay the full premium cost may choose not to enroll for 2018 due to premium increases.
Of course, not all residents are treated equally when it comes to premium hikes. So far, Iowa is winning the award for greatest percentage increase at 69%, with Wyoming, Utah and Virginia close behind.
On an absolute basis, Wyoming wins with the average 50 year old expected to pay nearly $1,200 per month (or roughly the cost of a mortgage) on health insurance premiums.
So what say you? Have we finally reached the tipping point where enough full-paying Obamacare customers will simply forego insurance that they can no longer afford and cause the whole system to come crashing down?