The Obamacare Projections Are In, And They Look Terrible

Jack Crowe | Political Reporter

Obamacare premiums are set to rise dramatically in 2018 as consumers’ access to insurance providers decreases, according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Monday.

The report, based on information provided by insurers, details bleak projections for the future of Obamacare. Premiums for the roughly six percent of Americans who purchase coverage on the Obamacare exchanges for 2018 will rise steeply along with the percentage of consumers who only have access to only one insurer.

The newly released analysis denotes a 37 percent rise in the average monthly premium paid by a 27 year old who purchases a mid level “silver” plan. The difference amounts to just over $100 per month as the average cost will increase from $300 to $411 per month for a consumer who fits that profile. Over the course of a year, premiums for those consumers will total $4,932 up from just $2,616 when Obamacare took effect in 2014.

Additionally, the percentage of consumers with access to only one insurer will rise from 20 percent in 2017 to 29 percent in 2018. Eight states are expected to have only one insurer participating in Obamacare exchanges in 2018.

The Trump administration has repeatedly cited rising premiums in pushing for repeal and replace.

“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,” Caitlin Oakley, press secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, said in an email. “There is an urgent and serious need to repeal this failed law and replace it with patient-centered solutions.”

Obamacare proponents have cast the rising premiums and insurers fleeing the marketplace as the result of the Trump administration’s decision to starve the program of badly needed resources.

President Donald Trump suspended the payment of cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments in early October, cutting insurers off from funds they were previously provided to off set the cost of covering low income, high risk individuals. Insurance companies, expecting the flow of CSR funds to dry up, raised their 2018 premium projections to insulate themselves from the loss of federal revenue.

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