by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon highlights a new study on health insurance price increases induced by the Affordable Care Act. (Pause to consider the irony of the last 10 words in the previous sentence.)
A new study obtained by the Washington Free Beacon shows premium increases under Obamacare will actually be higher than the federal government’s projections.
Obamacare premiums will increase by 27 percent next year, according to the center-right policy institute the American Action Forum. The Department of Health and Human Services announced last month that premiums would increase an average of 22 percent in 2017, with the health care law’s Silver plans rising to $296 per month. Premiums will increase as much as 145 percent in some states.
The American Action Forum found that the average increase is likely to be higher than predicted because the agency did not factor in that nearly half of Obamacare plans no longer exist, forcing enrollees to switch to costlier plans.
“In this study the American Action Forum finds that the cost of 2016 benchmark Silver plans will increase by an average of 27 percent in 2017 for a 27-year-old non-smoker,” writes Jonathan Keisling in the new report. “The lowest cost Bronze plan will increase by 22 percent in 2017.”
The group said the government’s increase of 22 percent “can be misleading” because most of the 2017 Obamacare plans will be new.
“Actual premium growth is likely worse than that as the 2016 benchmarks that still exist in 2017 will see a 27 percent increase,” the American Action Forum said. “Many of the 2016 benchmark plans no longer exist.”