Premiums for Most Popular Exchange Plans To Rise 10% in 2015
Premiums for the most popular coverage in the Affordable Care Act's federal exchange in 2014 will increase by 10% on average in 2015, according to an analysis released Thursday by Avalere Health, the Washington Times reports (Howell, Washington Times, 11/20).
For the analysis, researchers examined data released last week by HHS to determine each region's monthly premium for the lowest-cost silver plan. According to Avalere, 28% of U.S. residents who enrolled in coverage through the federal exchange selected the lowest-cost silver plan during last year's open enrollment period.
The researchers found that consumers who shop for coverage options via HealthCare.gov are likely to find a lower-cost plan in 2015. In addition, the analysis found that the second-lowest-cost silver plan, off which subsidy amounts are set, had changed in many regions, which could result in individuals paying more in after-subsidy premiums if they do not switch plans.
Avalere CEO Dan Mendelson in a statement said, "This is a competitive market dynamic and many plans that priced attractively last year are playing catch up for 2015," adding, "Consumers who care about costs need to shop."
However, Avalere Director Elizabeth Carpenter added that "based on experience from other markets, we expect that many people will not return to the exchange website and will remain in the same plan" (Viebeck, The Hill, 11/20)
Consumers who do not select a new plan by Dec. 15 will automatically be re-enrolled in their current coverage (Washington Times, 11/20).
Bronze, Silver Plan Deductibles Increasing
In related news, the average deductible for bronze and silver plans sold through the federal exchange for 2015 is set to increase compared with in 2014, according to an analysis by HealthPocket, Modern Healthcare reports.
According to Modern Healthcare, the IRS defines 2015 high-deductible plans as those with annual deductibles of $1,300 or more for individual plans and $2,600 or more for family plans.
The analysis found that:
- The average annual bronze plan deductible for a 2015 individual plan is nearly $5,200, an increase of 2% from 2014;
- The average annual bronze plan deductible for a 2015 family plan is more than $10,500;
- The average annual silver plan deductible for a 2015 individual plan is about $2,900; and
- The average annual silver plan deductible for a 2015 family plan is more than $6,000.
Meanwhile, the researchers found that the average annual deductible for a 2015 platinum plan is $243, a 30% decrease from last year (Herman, Modern Healthcare, 11/20).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.