Federal Exchange Premiums To Increase by Around 5% in 2016
Average premiums for silver-tier health plans sold through the federal exchange will likely increase by around 5.8% in 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis published Thursday, The Hill reports.
The analysis looked at proposed rate increases in eight states where complete data are available.
According to the analysis, premiums for the lowest-cost silver plans sold through the federal exchange will increase by an average of 4.5%, or around $378 annually.
Data Still Incomplete
According to The Hill, overall data on proposed 2016 premium rates are still incomplete. Insurers were required to file proposed rates by June 1, and most must seek approval only for increases of at least 10%. As a result, data on proposed rate increases can show skewed projections of what rates will be in the coming year.
Further, the proposed increases could be curbed. According to The Hill, the Affordable Care Act gives states the authority to challenge any increases deemed to be "unreasonable." HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell earlier this month said she anticipates many of the proposed increases will lower.
However, some experts have said the increases come as insurers for the first time have a full year's worth of data on claims filed under ACA plans. They noted insurers are realizing their risk pools have higher numbers of sick individuals than healthy enrollees.
Avalere Health Senior Vice President Caroline Pearson said, "While recent public attention has focused on a subset of plans that filed for premium increases of 10% or more, these data reveal that most plans are proposing more modest increases" (Ferris, The Hill, 6/11).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.