Typical individual health insurance policy users who are willing to change plans within a metal level may be able to hold 2017 premium increases to less than 10 percent.
Analysts at Avalere Health, an independent research firm, have published numbers supporting that conclusion in a review of 2017 individual health rate proposals from nine jurisdictions that have posted 2017 filings online: Indiana, Maryland, Maine, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.
The review included six jurisdictions with locally run Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange programs and three states that use the HealthCare.gov exchange system.
The analysts compared actual premiums for 2016 with proposed premiums for 2017, using a 50-year-old male nonsmoker as their standard shopper.
For the standard shopper, the average cost of mid-level, silver-level coverage could rise 16 percent in the nine jurisdictions included, to $521 per month, according to the analysis.
The average cost of the cheapest silver plan in each jurisdction is on track to rise 7 percent, to $411, and the average cost of the second-cheapest silver plan may rise 8 percent, the analysts found.
When Avalere analysts conducted a similar analysis in June 2015, they found that health insurers in nine jurisdictions with early 2016 rate filing access were proposing an average 2016 silver-plan premium increase of 5.8 percent. At that point, the average proposed increase for the cheapest silver plans was 4.5 percent. The average proposed increase for the second-cheapest silver plans was 1 percent.
The PPACA advance premium tax credit (APTC) and cost-sharing reduction subsidy programs use the cost of the second-lowest-cost silver plan in a market as a benchmark for determining subsidy levels.
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