Analysts are forecasting a stabilization in premium prices for consumers shopping through Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges come fall open enrollment.
Based on preliminary state filings for ACA-compliant health plans, ACASignups.net released a table of projected increases for 2019 premiums. Run by analyst Charles Gabe, the site collects data on ACA enrollment and participation from insurers. The data suggests 2019 policies in the ACA marketplace will experience less than a four percent increase.
Insurers all over the country are also expanding; plans like Oscar Health are moving into new states, including Arizona and specifically into individual ACA markets. Iowa’s Wellmark is now re-joining the individual markets after a hiatus last year, and many more insurers are extending coverage. These moves from providers across the nation point toward a maturing market, according to senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Katherine Hempstead.
State premiums vary however, and according to ACASignups.net, a handful of states are experiencing double digit hikes but some are forecasting a much smaller increase, while others are even heading toward a decline, says Hempstead.
Hempstead told NPR she sees premium rates rising at the same rates of medical inflation.
There are various changes to note when looking at 2019 premium rates. There is an increase in short-term health plans as well as the Trump administration’s expansion of association health plans where small businesses can band together. The penalty associated with the individual mandate will also no longer be in effect next year, meaning individuals have the option of dropping their coverage.
While the numbers on premium increases across the nation are estimates, consumers may be quelled by the idea of stabilizing rates compared to recent years.
To view each state’s possible rate hikes, visit ACASignups.net.
Check out NPR’s story on premium rates for 2019,
Or look at The Epoch Times’ take on the premium forecast.