Average premiums to rise 7.5 percent on key ObamaCare plan

Average premiums to rise 7.5 percent on key ObamaCare plan
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The price of the benchmark ObamaCare plan will jump by 7.5 percent on average next year, according to data released Monday. 

The premium increase is far more than last year’s 2 percent jump among benchmark silver plans. Those plans, the second-lowest cost option among silver plans, are important because they determine healthcare subsidies for people living in that area, even if they pick a different tiered plan.

The Obama administration touted that the increase was in the single digits — something it said was harder to achieve before the Affordable Care Act.


“For most consumers, premium increases for 2016 are in the single digits and they will be able to find plans for less than $100 a month,” Kevin Counihan, CEO of the federal marketplace, wrote in a statement.

Silver plans are the most popular nationwide, with about 70 percent of ObamaCare enrollees choosing one. About 11 percent of all customers picked the benchmark plan last year, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The increase for next year does not take into account the billions of dollars in government subsidies that are given to people on the exchanges. It also doesn’t include the dozen state marketplaces that set their own rates and determine their own benchmark plans.

The data released Monday afternoon shows that the change in premium prices varies widely among the 34 states.

While Oklahoma will see an increase of 35.7 percent, Indiana will see a decrease of 12 percent. Three other states also see drops in their premiums — Maine, Mississippi and Ohio.

The Obama administration will kick off its third open enrollment period on Nov. 1. Officials recently said they expect about 10 million people to sign up this year, a figure that is below expectations but would still bring in about 1 million new customers.