ObamaCare rule lowered premiums, analysis finds

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Researchers with the group wrote that their analysis is meant to balance the narrative that consumers only see a benefit from the MLR when they get a rebate. 

"This is not the whole story for consumers," study authors wrote. "Rebates represent only a portion, albeit the most concrete portion, of the MLR rule's savings to consumers." 

The analysis said that the policyholders most likely to see lower premiums from the MLR were those who purchased coverage in the individual market. 

"The majority of plans sold to small and large businesses were already in compliance with their respective MLR thresholds before the [Affordable Care Act] went into effect," the analysis stated. 

"In the individual market, by contrast, fewer than half of plans were in compliance with the ACA's MLR thresholds in 2010." 

The MLR faces criticism from Republicans who say it is onerous for insurance companies, adds to fraud and could force some insurance brokers out of business. Some are also concerned that the policy could encourage insurers to charge higher premiums in the future.