Study: Premium growth slowed after ObamaCare

Health insurance premiums experienced slower growth in most states following the passage of the healthcare law, though incomes still failed to keep pace across the country, according to a new study.

Researchers with the Commonwealth Fund found good news for ObamaCare when looking at premium trends on the employer-based insurance market.

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In 31 states and the District of Columbia, people who obtain medical coverage through their employer saw premiums and deductibles grow more slowly between 2010 and 2013 than in the past.

At the same time, total premium costs rose faster than median household incomes, and out-of-pocket healthcare insurance costs rose across the board as companies shifted expenses to workers.

"Although the rate of increase has slowed in most states since 2010, the combination of higher premium shares and higher deductibles contribute to widespread public concerns about rising healthcare costs," the study stated.

"For many workers and their families, the slowdown has not made a difference in their wallets. Indeed for many people with employer health benefits, out-of-pocket cost burdens are consuming a greater share of income."

Effects of these shifts are being felt differently in different states.

Premium growth remained high at 6 percent or greater in Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming between 2010 and 2013, according to the study.

Perhaps even more damaging, premiums represented 25 percent or more of household income in Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and West Virginia.

"Cost pressures are particularly acute in the southern United States where median incomes fall well below the national average in most states," the study found. "In 12 Southern states, average total premiums equaled 22 percent or more of median incomes."

States with more positive results included Louisiana, where premium growth fell from 7 percent between 2003 and 2010 to almost zero between 2010 and 2013.

Eleven other states and the District of Columbia saw premium growth decline by at least 3 percent, the study stated.