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Get Covered America buttons are seen during a training session in Chicago, Illinois September 7, 2013 before volunteers canvas a Chicago neighborhood to talk with residents about the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare. Picture taken September 7
Republican warnings of double-digit premium increases under Obamacare aren't too likely to be realized, the Society of Actuaries says. They are backing up the Congressional Budget Office's
projection of modest premium increases next year under Obamacare. The statisticians expect about a seven percent premium hike next year.
"The double-rate increases we've been hearing are probably exaggerated," says Dave Axene, a fellow with the Society of Actuaries, adding that there would be wide variation across the country. "That's not what we're seeing from the actuarial organizations — I guess we're being a little bit more optimistic."

Axene says that as insurers dig through the new health exchange enrollees to figure out their ages and health conditions to determine next year's premiums, he expects an overall increase of 6% to 8.5%. He bases that on work he and others within the society have done with insurance clients. Before the Affordable Care Act, premiums rose an average of 7-10% a year. […]

Part of the reduced growth rate could be due to improvements in the health care system that will continue to rein in costs over time.

"If the cost curve is really bending as a result of what we're doing, that should favorably affect rates," he says.

That's an estimated average premium hike rate, and won't be true of every state. Part of the law that's helping to keep premiums under control is the risk corridor, the pool of money created by the law, paid into by insurance companies, to cover costs for any insurer who loses money in the first years of the law because it has had to take on primarily ill, expensive people. The point of the risk corridors, which Republicans call "insurance company bailouts" was to keep premiums low. Which it seems to be doing.

Seems like there's been nothing but news about how the law is doing the good things that it was intended to do, particularly in those states that have fully implemented it. Republicans? We're still waiting to find out how you're going to replace all this.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Obamacare Saves Lives and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:31:27 AM PDT

  •  Republicans exaggerate??? should bite your (0+ / 0-)

    tongue McJoan.....;-)

  •  From the article it sounds like the rise (0+ / 0-)

    is more on higher cost plans as opposed to other plans. That's nice to know.

    This is relatively high compared to the historical average though and that's a bit worrying.

    No War but Class War

    by AoT on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:41:47 AM PDT

  •  I see two or three hurdles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, TopCat

    left for Obamacare to clear before the repeal effort is officially, completely, totally, done.

    1. The premiums for next year

    2. Implementing the individual mandate penalty accurately

    3. Making sure the website is ready to go in the second enrollment period. Traffic will be great the second time around and the EP is a couple of months shorter I believe.

    If it can clear those hurdles, we are talking about probably near 20 million being part of the law heading into 2016, making repeal very questionable even for the GOP.  

    The first two are the most serious, and so this is certainly good news as it relates to premiums.

    •  We have 20 million now. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjd in florida, jj32

      If you factor in the people who got healthcare via expanded Medicaid, signed up under their parents plan or got insurance through the exchanges then we're probably close to 20 million now.  That number will keep rising since people can get healthcare via Medicaid throughout the whole year and can get insurance if there is some life altering event like job loss and so on.

      In October, states who run their own exchanges will be more prepared as they fix the bugs in their systems or get outside help like Maryland did with getting help from CT.  The federal website will also be more than prepared.  

      We'll likely have close to 8 million who signed up via the exchanges alone by the next open enrollment and I suspect that several million more will sign up then as they see that the world hasn't ended and that their neighbors who did sign up got great deals.  

      By 2016 we will likely have 20 million in the exchanges alone but that's not including everyone who got healthcare via expanded Medicaid or through their parents plans.  Hopefully after the elections in 2014 many more states with newly elected Democratic governors will be expanding their states Medicaid programs as well (like GA, WI, FL to name a few).  We could well see 35-40 million people with health insurance by 2016 thanks to Obamacare.  

      There is NO way the GOP can or will run on repealing healthcare for 10% of the population.  Our % of uninsured will be in single digits by then and the program will have a full 2 years of being implemented by then.  The results will speak for themselves and anyone who runs on repealing then won't be taken seriously unless they have a real concrete plan for replacing Obamacare with something better.  We're not talking about offering up catastrophic insurance or selling it across state lines or tort reform bullshit either.    

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 09:13:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We reached 8 million today (0+ / 0-)

        and we have 26 million reasonably confiirmed in all ACA programs, plus perhaps 8 million more. ACA Signups has a summary each day. It currently reads

        Estimated Exchange QHPs as of April 15, 2014: 8.03M

        Estimated Total, all sources: (14.1 M - 26.1 M)*

        Individual QHP Range: (7.24M - 15.58M)  •  Medicaid/CHIP (5.23M - 7.29M)

        ESIs (106K documented)  •  Sub26ers (1.60M - 3.10M)

        (OFF-Exch. ESIs: 34K confirmed; Rand study finds up to 8.2M more possible)

        Diaried as ACA Signups: 8M+!! Only 12.9% Uninsured!

        where  the rate of uninsured was 18.0% in September, 2013.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 10:55:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They just voted to replace Medicare with (0+ / 0-)

      Ryan 'could give a' care. It will never be over for these repeal 'dead-enders'.

  •  This will be interesting to watch. In MA my (0+ / 0-)

    Premiums saw double digit increases each year after Romneyare went into afect until last year when our Govenor Deval Patrick capped the most that insurance companies could increase premiums to to single digits.last year if I recall my premium increas was 9%. This year it was 6% with a portion of that due to ACA related cost. My optical plan also changed as are demur of ACA with acost increase.  We ask have a few major hospitals in the red.  

    So putting it in prospective in my situation, my premiums and out of pocket costs for a family of five have gone up considerably under MA's version of mandated health insurance.  I think the issues is that very little has been doe to lower the costs of the for profit side of the industry

  •  We need to keep reminding ourselves and (0+ / 0-)

    others about where the cost of health insurance would be at this time without the ACA and about how many would not even be able to buy insurance what alone afford it.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 12:04:29 PM PDT

  •  In the next few months we will see the new rates (0+ / 0-)

    in every state, and before the November elections.

    Hope the projections in the diary are right.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 02:38:10 PM PDT

  •  I thought premiums were going to be lower? (0+ / 0-)

    That was one of the selling points right?

  •  Insureds no longer pay for uninsureds ? (0+ / 0-)

    Before the ACA, the healthcare providers and hospitals would raise prices on the insured in order to cover all the uninsured and uncompensated care they provided.

    The ACA seems to be a right-wing conspiracy. Ackk...the Heritage Foundation first conceived it?...Ughh....the last Republican presidential candidate actually implemented it in his state?

    Republican heads are exploding over this conundrum.

  •  But.... (0+ / 0-)

    When the economy is growing under 3% per year, and any way most of those gains go to the 1%, a 7% average increase in premiums for health insurance is disastrous for most of the 99%.

  •  The key when referring to the ACA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is everything will improve "over time." It is absolutely unreasonable to expect that an undertaking of this magnitude, never done before in our over 200 year history, can be implemented on day one, year one, or even year five.

    Most of what the CBO has estimated for a leveling off for premiums and a rea; picture of the insured is in a 10 year window.

    We Americans are known for having little patience. The time for this happening for our citizens has been a long time in coming.  We, who pride ourselves as the greatest country in the world have lagged behind many countries in the world who have had medical access to most  all their citizens for many decades.

    The ACA is working, will be even better as time goes on as some aspects will be found to be not workable in their present form; they will be tweaked and fixed.

    Opponents will continue to say "see, it isn't working," as they sit on their hands and refuse to offer any helpful input.

    As one who is retired as an allied health professional, I worked in hospital settings and saw first hand the disparity of treatment of the uninsured brought into the ER, as compared to those with insurance.  The lack of followup treatment for those uninsured causing in some cases a lifetime of disability that in the insured would be remedied with a years' physical therapy.

    Thank you, President Obama.  Job well done.

  •  on those risk corridors... (0+ / 0-)

    shouldn't we be calling that an insurance recipient bailout?
    If the purpose is to keep  any insurance co from having to raise rates steeply due to demographics of enrollees, then the result is lower premiums for all, correct? So isn't that a bailout of Joe Sixpack? As a provision of the ACA, insurance co's can't just keep that money; it has to go toward health care.
    So doesn't Joe Sixpack finally have an answer to the question he's been asking for five years? ...

    "Where's my bailout?"

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:56:30 AM PDT

  •  Sad that there are ANY increases at all... (0+ / 0-)

    As long as we have insurance reforms and private, for PROFIT distribution of medical services, there will be increases followed by increases forever. THere is no incentive to cut costs instead of increasing prices. Had we had the kind of health care enjoyed by every other developed country, increases would be tied to increases in VALUE. Thank GOd we have "something" - a minor set of controls on the policies being sold. What we don't have is HEALTH CARE. Just try to get logical, plain, medical help. A prescription medically required STILL has 5 sets of hoops to jump through even if it has been a daily thing for 3 years. Suddenly the Physician who WROTE the scrip has to FAX a re-authorization to insurance who then has to enter that into a computer and then get it approved In-House and then send the approval to the Pharmacy which still can deny it if the dose and quantity doesn't match exactly their list. So 5 people without any medical degree, with no patient experience or pharmacy experience are paid to slow it down, insert expense and possibly get the patient to pay cash rather than use insurance. at every level we have the most expensive method of ending up with medical help.

  •  Of course... (0+ / 0-)

    ...when those rate increases rollout the media will run many "rates increase because of Obamacare" articles, completely ignoring that rates went up every year before the ACA.

    I have insurance through my former employer, several choices, and everyone of the choices that went up this year caused someone to proclaim that his rate went up "because of Obama".

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