The individual health insurance price difference limits in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) could lead to big increases in rates for some young consumers starting in 2014.
Analysts at GoHealth L.L.C. — the unit of Norvax Inc., Chicago, that runs the GoHealthInsurance.com health insurance quote site — make that prediction in a summary of the results from a state-by-state look at coverage pricing.
The analysts found that the national average for premiums for a hypothetical 20-year-old were $87.91 per month. The premiums for a comparable 60-year-old were $339.42 per month. The rate for the older consumer was 386% of the rate for the 20-year-old, or 3.86 times as high.
The percentage differences for 20-year-olds and 60-year-olds ranged from about 146% in Vermont to 522% in Wyoming.
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The median was about 492.5%. The gap ranged from 482% to 502% in 35 states.
Aside from Vermont, the only states with gaps roughly at or under 300% were Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Hawaii and Minnesota.
Aside from Wyoming, the only states with gaps at or over 502% were Kansas, Delaware, Louisiana and Kentucky.
Narrowing the gaps might help 60-year-olds pay for coverage, but analysts note that 60-year-olds are much likelier to have health coverage than the young, “invincible” 20-year-olds are.
In states where the age-based rate gap is high, 20-year-olds are paying about $50 to $60 per month for coverage, Erinn Springer, a GoHealth representative, said in an interview.