ObamaCare plans headed for 'modest' rate hikes, report says

The average insurance premium under ObamaCare is probably not headed toward a double-digit hike next year, new data shows.

Premiums for silver plans on the federal insurance exchanges are slated to increase an average of 5.8 percent in the eight states where all data is available, according to an analysis by Avalere Health.

For the lowest-cost silver plans, that increase will be 4.5 percent, or an average of $378 per year.

ADVERTISEMENT

That data, which includes Maryland and Michigan, comes after a string of headlines predicting steep cost increases for health insurance plans in 2016.

“While recent public attention has focused on a subset of plans that filed for premium increases of 10 percent or more, these data reveal that most plans are proposing more modest increases,” said the group’s senior vice president, Caroline Pearson.

Health insurance companies were required to file their rate increases by June 1, though under law, most are only required to seek approval for hikes of 10 percent or more — resulting in a skewed portrait of the increases.

The study comes one day after a report from the insurance data company, HealthPocket, found that rates were slated to increase about 12 percent.

Next year will be an important test for how well ObamaCare is working, because it is the first time that insurers will have a full year of data to decide their costs.

Insurers are now realizing that the balance between sick and healthy customers, also known as the plan’s “risk pool,” is more uneven than they had expected, some experts have said.

The data is still incomplete, however, with most states only disclosing increases that are 10 percent or higher.

The premium hikes could still be lowered. Under ObamaCare, states have the power to challenge rate increases they consider to be “unreasonable.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said earlier this month that she expects many of the proposed steep rates to drop.