Feds expose plunging options, skyrocketing prices.
Obamacare costs for a 27-year-old on a benchmark plan have exploded from $2,616 during the program’s first year to nearly double, at $4,932, for the plan year 2018, according to a new report.
The documentation from the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Health and Human Services Department reveals the extent of problems Americans face if Congress is not successful in repealing and replacing Barack Obama’s signature legislation.
The numbers reveal the failings: a 37 percent average premium increase in the benchmark plan, the fact eight states have only one issuer offering plans under an Obamacare exchange and the plunge from 237 issuers nationwide a year ago to 132 now.
“This data demonstrates just how rapidly Obamacare’s exchanges are deteriorating with skyrocketing premiums year after year, more than half of Americans with no more than two insurers to choose from, and the taxpayer burden exploding. There is an urgent and serious need to repeal this failed law and replace it with patient-centered solutions,” commented HHS press secretary Caitlin Oakley.
The report’s numbers show the average premium increase for the second-lowest cost silver plan, the benchmark plan, is going up 37 percent for the coming plan year. That follows a hike of 24 percent just a year ago.
For the lowest cost plan, the price hike this year will be 17 percent, following last year’s 27 percent.
The average percentage increase in Obamacare’s advance premium tax credit is 45 percent, rising from $382 to $555, and by 114 percent from plan year 2014.
“Ever-growing subsidies are chasing skyrocketing premiums, pricing out middle-income Americans and turning Obamacare’s exchange into a de facto high-risk pool,” the report found.
Twenty-nine percent of the enrollees will have only one option for health insurance under Obamacare. That’s up from 2 percent last year.
More than half, 55 percent, of enrollees “will have the option of two or fewer health insurance issuers offering Obamacare exchange plans,” the report explained, up from 14 percent in 2015.
There are eight states where consumers have only one issuer option: Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.
And the total number of state issuers is 132, down from 237 just two years ago.
“For the first time, in [Plan Year 18], annual growth for othe average monthly premium for the SLCSP, also called the benchmark plan, (37 percent) outpaced growth for the LCP premium (17 percent) available to a 27-year-old. …. For enrollees who are eligible to receive advance premium tax credits (APTCs), the larger increase for the benchmark plan premium may result in these enrollees paying a lower portion of their premiums compared to prior plan years; especially if they select plans from metal levels other than silver,” the report said.
In some individual locations, the Obamacare program quickly is crumbling, with the report’s notation that Wyoming will have the highest average premium for the benchmark plan in Plan Year 2018, at $710, an increase of 72 percent from plan year 2017 ($413).”
Iowa will have the “highest percentage increase in the average premium for the benchmark plan in PY18 ($585), an increase of 88 percent.”
Taxpayers in general need to pay attention, too, as the subsidies are ballooning.
“The estimated average (advance premium tax credits) will be $555 for 2018, a 45 percent hike from the figure of $382 just a year ago,” the report said.
“A 27-year-old with a household income of $25,000 could receive an APTC of up to $273 for PY18, a 73 percent increase from PY17 ($158) based on the average premium for the benchmark plan across all HealthCare.gov states,” the report said. “A family of four with a household income of $60,000 could receive an APTC of up to $1,088 for PY18, a 60 percent increase from PY17 ($678) based on the average premium for the benchmark plan across all HealthCare.gov states.”