Will Obamacare Rate Increases Affect Me? There Are A Lot Of Factors At Play
On Monday, President Barack Obama's administration released bad news for some beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act. Premiums for certain individuals going through healthcare.gov or state-level affiliates for health insurance will go up an average 22 percent across the 39 states which offer the government-run insurance, with variations in hikes between states. Premiums are set to rise because insurers underestimated how much assistance the people enrolling in Obamacare would need. The looming question is: Who will be affected by the Obamacare hikes?
According to The Chicago Tribune, the rate increase will most likely affect people who do not qualify for government subsidies. Since 83 percent of people insured under Obamacare get subsidies and only have to pay up to a certain percentage of their income, most currently enrolled will probably not see as significant an impact as the 22 percent hike. However, between five and seven million people either don't qualify for government assistance or have purchased plans outside the Obamacare market, which aren't eligible for subsidies. It's these individuals who may feel the financial hurt in 2017. Those who have purchased individual policies may want to check into whether they would qualify for assistance if they got in on an Obamacare plan.
Another factor determining who will be impacted is the type of plan people purchase. People with the benchmark plan — also known as the second-lowest-costing silver plan — will see their rates rise (if they don't qualify for subsidies). As CNBC reported, half of benchmark plan consumers will see at least a 16-percent premium increase, while the other half will see smaller increases.
Individuals in certain states will be hit a lot harder than in others. According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services (which is linked to below), benchmark premiums will increase by 116 percent in Arizona, 69 percent in Oklahoma, 63 percent in Tennessee, and 58 percent in Alabama. Arkansas, New Hampshire, and Ohio are the least impacted, with only 2-percent increases, while Indiana will actually see a decrease in premiums of 3 percent.
Even people who receive subsidies may still be impacted by changes in the system. Some insurers are pulling out of the Obamacare marketplace, meaning that people insured by them will need to find another provider. And that could mean having to change doctors and medications.
The bottom line is that if you, like most Obamacare recipients, receive government subsidies, you may not feel as much of an economic burn from the hike. But if you have a silver plan and aren't eligible for cost-sharing, you can expect to see your bill increase. Check out the Department of Health and Human Services report to see how much the Obamacare increase will actually affect you.