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."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.
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.
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.