White House: Most ObamaCare users will be shielded from premium spikes

The White House released data Wednesday showing the vast majority of ObamaCare customers would be shielded from double-digit premium hikes that are expected to hit most of the country this fall.

Even if premiums increased by a whopping 50 percent, most ObamaCare customers would still pay $100 or less per month for coverage, according to a 12-page report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Rising premium costs have grabbed attention across the country, but the government’s new data show that most people wouldn’t face bigger bills because their ObamaCare subsidies would go up along with their costs.

“Headline rate increases do not reflect what consumers actually pay,” Kathryn Martin, who leads HHS’s planning and evaluation office, wrote in a statement.

Many health insurers have proposed premium hikes this fall, part of an effort to recoup losses from the first three years of the program, when more sick people than expected were signing up.

As reports of 50 percent and 60 percent premium hikes have spread nationwide, the Obama administration has sought to point out that most customers would be unaffected. About 80 percent of the nearly 11 million people with ObamaCare plans receive federal subsidies.

Next year’s rates will be made public in October, just ahead of the November elections, which could spell trouble for Democratic candidates who have widely embraced ObamaCare.

The percent of people paying $100 or less next year could actually be higher than in 2016, when premiums only increased an average of 8 percent.

The new data predicts that eight in 10 customers would pay $100 or less per month if their premiums jumped 50 percent, compared to the 76 percent of people who paid that amount last year.  

Tags Health insurance Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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