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This move might raise individual health premiums 43 percent

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Many people who hate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — and plenty who support it — would love to kill the individual coverage mandate.

Some want to kill the PPACA individual premium tax credit subsidy for low-income people — or say that Democrats in Congress killed the tax credit for consumers who use the PPACA exchanges run by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by failing to proofread the PPACA bill.

Christine Eibner and Evan Saltzman, analysts at the RAND Corp., point out in a new commentary that many U.S. residents now have PPACA-compliant individual coverage, purchased either through the public exchange system or off-exchange system, and that changing the rules now could force many to give up their health coverage.

The analysts have used a model, or collection of equations, to estimate that completely killing the PPACA premium tax subsidy for all exchange users would increase the silver-level premium for a 40-year-old nonsmoker 43 percent, to $4,900 per year in 2015.

The change would cut the number of people with PPACA-compliant individual coverage 68 percent, to 6.3 million, the analysts say.

The analysts also look at the idea of getting rid of the individual mandate.

The analysts believe that change would increase the age-standardized silver-level premium just 7.1 percent, to $3,700, but that it would decrease the number of people with PPACA-compliant individual coverage 20 percent, to 16 million.


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