How ACA Marketplace Premiums Measure Up to Expectations

kff.orgPremium increases in the health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will likely be higher in 2017 than in recent years. While premiums generally go up every year as the underlying cost of care rises, there are a number of reasons to expect faster growth this coming year, including the expiration of the ACA’s temporary reinsurance program at the end of 2016 and miscalculations by many insurers about how much health care enrollees would use.

Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of proposed rates in states that make the information publicly-available shows an average premium increase in the benchmark second-lowest-cost Silver plan in 17 major cities of 9% in 2017, compared to an average increase of 2% in these cities in 2016. The second-lowest-cost Silver plan is a popular choice in this market, and is particularly significant because it is the benchmark for federal subsidies provided to low- and middle-income enrollees. It therefore helps determine how much these subsidies cost the government.

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