ACA Premiums in Some Cities Will Drop Slightly in 2015, Report Says
Premiums for certain plans sold through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges will on average decline slightly in 16 U.S. cities in 2015, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released Friday, Reuters reports.
For the report, KFF examined premiums both including and excluding federal subsidies for a 40-year-old, single, non-smoking adult with a $30,000 annual income (Humer, Reuters, 9/5). They looked at premium data published in 15 states and the District of Columbia (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 9/5).
According to the analysis, premiums for silver plans will be on average 0.8% less in 2015 than in 2014 in seven of 16 major cities. The largest declines were found in:
- Denver, where premiums will decline by 15%, to $211 per month;
- Providence, R.I., where premiums will decline by 11%, to $260 per month; and
- Seattle, where premiums will decline by about 10%, to $254 per month.
Meanwhile, the report found that premiums will increase by:
- 8.7% in Nashville, Tenn., to $205 per month;
- 6.6% in Burlington, Vt., to $440 per month;
- 6% in Portland, Ore., to $213 per month; and
- 0.8% in Los Angeles, Calif.
Overall, the average premium price for silver plans in the 16 cities will decline to $208 per month in 2015, down from $209 in 2014. The premium prices do not factor in federal subsidies.
However, the study found that premiums for bronze plans will increase by 3.3% on average in 2015 (Reuters, 9/5). Premium changes for bronze plans ranged from a 15.7% decrease in Hartford, Conn., to a 13.3% increase in Baltimore (Modern Healthcare, 9/5).
Lower Premiums Could Lower Subsidy Costs
According to Kaiser Health News' "Capsules," lower premiums for silver plans will help drive down the cost of subsidy payments, because silver plans are used as benchmarks to determine consumers' costs (Hancock, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 9/5). The report noted, "Eligible individuals pay 2% to 9.5% of income on a sliding scale to enroll in the second-lowest-cost silver plan, and the federal government covers the difference" between consumers' contributions and the premium prices (Modern Healthcare, 9/5).
As a result, the federal government in 2015 could end up paying less than expected for subsidies, the report noted (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 9/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.