Report: Average O’Care Premium Up 37%, Options Down 20% in 2018

By NTK Staff | 10.30.2017 @2:45pm
Report: Average O’Care Premium Up 37%, Options Down 20% in 2018

A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released Monday, indicates Obamacare premiums are up and choices are down, confirming prior estimates from independent analyses. The report, from HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), found “[t]he average monthly premium for the second-lowest cost silver plan (SLCSP), […]

A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released Monday, indicates Obamacare premiums are up and choices are down, confirming prior estimates from independent analyses.

The report, from HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), found “[t]he average monthly premium for the second-lowest cost silver plan (SLCSP), also called the benchmark plan, for a 27-year-old increased by 37% from plan year 2017 (PY17) ($300) to PY18 ($411).”

“Issuer participation,” better known as how many insurers are participating in the Obamacare exchanges declined from 167 in PY2017 to 132 in PY2018, a nearly-21 percent decline.

Other key findings:

  • Popular silver plan cost growth is outpacing bronze plan cost growth: “For the first time, annual growth in the average monthly premium available to a 27- year-old for the SLCSP, at 37%, outpaced that of the lowest-cost plan (LCP), at 17%.”
  • Federal government subsidies are becoming more expensive: “The average [advance premium tax credit] APTC ($555) will increase by an estimated 45% from PY17 ($382) and by 114% from PY14 ($259).”
  • Only six percent can access a plan with monthly premiums under $200: “The percentage of current enrollees with access to a plan for $200 or less decreased from 16% for PY17 to 6% to PY18. If enrollees were to stay within their current metal level, only 2% will have access to coverage with premiums of $200 or less for PY18.”

This is another indicator that, seven years on, Obamacare is failing on some of its proponents’ loftier promises of lower prices and more choices for health insurance.

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