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Life Health > Health Insurance

Avalere sees average 2017 individual silver premiums rising 11%

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Health insurers in 14 states that have made complete 2017 rate filing data available to analysts may increase premiums for all silver-level individual public exchange plans an average of 11 percent in 2017.

Related: PPACA World 2017: Rates might not be THAT bad

Analysts at Washington, D.C.-based Avalere Health gave that projection Wednesday, in an updated 2017 premium forecast.

The analysts found that the cost of the cheapest silver plans available in the 14 states might rise about 8 percent.

Proposed changes in the average cost of the cheapest silver plan available in a state range from a decrease of 14 percent in Rhode Island up to an increase of 20 percent in the District of Columbia. The median proposed change in the cost of the cheapest silver plan is an increase of 10 percent.

The proposed changes in the average cost of all silver plans in a state range from an average decrease of 5 percent, in Rhode Island, up to a maximum average increase of 19 percent, in Virginia. The median average proposed change is an increase of 12 percent.

A year ago, analysts at Mountain View, California-based HealthPocket suggested that typical 2016 silver plan rate increases might average about 14 percent throughout the country.

Analysts at the Menlo Park, California-based Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reported in October, based on full 2016 exchange plan premium information, that the average cost of the second-cheapest silver plan available in the biggest city in each state would be 10.1 percent higher in 2016 than in 2015.

Related: Premiums on popular ACA plans may rise 10 percent in 2017

Rate proposals under review

Avalere analysts released a similar set of 2017 exchange plan premium projections in May. At that point, the analysts could find 2017 premium data for exchange plans in only nine states.

In most states, regulators are still in the process of reviewing rate proposals and working with insurers to decide what the final 2017 rates should be.

Drafters of the Affordable Care Act created the “metal level” system, or plan richness rating system, when they designed the public health insurance exchange program, in an effort to help public exchange plan users shop for coverage on an apples-to-apples basis.

An ACA exchange may offer bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans to all users. An exchange can also offer bare-bones “catastrophic” plans to people under 30, and to other people who want to buy exchange plan coverage but are unable to qualify for ACA premium tax credit help.

A silver plan is supposed to cover about 70 percent of the actuarial value of a standardized ACA essential health benefits package. Exchange program managers tie premium subsidy levels to the amount a consumer in an exchange market would pay for the second lowest cost silver plan.


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