Obamacare Premiums Soar

The inability of the Obama administration to lure younger, healthy enrollees into ACA plans has resulted in a spike in premiums, McClatchy DC reports. Premiums for health plans sold on HealthCare.gov for 2017 rose an average of 25%, federal health officials announced yesterday.

Administration officials tried to quell concern by pointing out that as premiums go up, more people will be eligible for tax credits. In addition, 8 in 10 beneficiaries can get ACA subsidies to help them pay for the premiums. The underlying problem, though, has been noted for some time: There are too many older, sicker beneficiaries on exchange health plans. The exchange will open next week for its fourth sign-up season.

There’s also less choice, McClatchy DC reports. “Among the states relying on HealthCare.gov, the typical number of plans available is declining by more than one-third, from 47 to 30. Competition is falling in all but four of those states, though the decrease varies significantly. In Florida, the average marketplace customer will have three more plan choices than for this year. In Arizona, the number of plans will plummet from 65 to four.”

Source: McClatchy DC