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October 30 2017

2018 Obamacare Premiums to Leave Even Wider Hole in Your Wallet

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

The Trump administration just announced that premiums for benchmark Obamacare plans will increase 37 percent on average for 2018 – just in time for open enrollment to begin on Wednesday.

A 27-year old choosing the second lowest cost healthcare plan (silver) will pay 88 percent more next year ($411) than she did in 2014 ($218). If our car insurance rates were rising at the same rate, we’d be livid.

A new report from Health and Human Services released alarming facts about the state of the marketplace for plans under the Affordable Care Act for fiscal year 2018.

Not only are monthly costs to care going up, but taxpayers will have to shell out more to subsidize these premiums so that customers can afford their plans.

Also, almost a third of Obamacare customers (29 percent) have only one healthcare insurers to choose from – a 9-percentage point increase from last year.

Take a look at these facts:

  • 37 - The average premium increase for the second-lowest cost silver plan, compared to 24 percent increase in 2017 and 12 percent in 2016.
  • $4,932 - The average annual premium for the benchmark plan for a 27-year old, up from $2,616 during Obamacare’s first year.
  • $555 - The estimated average premium tax credit, an increase of 114 percent since 2014 ($259).  
  • 29 - The percent of enrollees who will have the option of only one health insurance issuer offering Obamacare exchange plans, up from 20 percent in 2017 and 2 percent in 2016.
  • 132 - The total number of state issuers for the upcoming plan year, down from 237 just two years ago and from 167 last year.
  • 8 - The number of states with only one issuer offering plans on the Obamacare exchange: Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

Each year, the question is not whether Obamacare premiums will rise, but how much will they rise? That is not acceptable if the Affordable Care Act was truly affordable.

Rate increases will give Obamacare customers sticker shock, but taxpayers end up shielding customers from the full costs of their plans.

Costs won't be falling anytime soon either as healthy and young Americans jump ship and insurers drop out of shrinking marketplaces.

We need to repeal and replace this failed federal program with solutions that spark competition and deliver the lower cost coverage options which Americans really want.

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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