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Analysis: Obamacare premiums to rise by average of 34 percent in 2018

by Kimberly Leonard  |  Published on October 26, 2017

The price of premiums for Obamacare’s mid-level plans are set to rise by an average of 34 percent next year, according to an analysis by the consulting firm Avalere Health.

These mid-level, or silver, plans are considered to be benchmark plans for people who sign up for Obamacare’s health insurance. Premiums for bronze, gold, and platinum plans will rise by an average of 18 percent, 16 percent, and 24 percent, respectively, compared to last year.

Average premium increases varied by state, the analysis found. Iowa will have the highest jump in average silver premium, of 69 percent, while Alaska will have a decrease in premiums of 22 percent. Alaska’s plan was lower this year because the state set up a reinsurance program in which state and federal funds paid for the medical claims of high-cost enrollees.

Avalere concluded that the increase could be attributed to lower-than-anticipated enrollment in these plans as well as uncertainty about the future of the Obamacare exchanges. Insurers do not know, for instance, whether the Trump administration will enforce the individual mandate that obligates people buy health insurance or pay a tax. President Trump also ended insurer payments known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies, which causes the price of premiums to go up.

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