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Obamacare premium increases overstated?

Health insurance premiums appear will rise modestly or even decline for many Obamacare plans in state Health Insurance Exchanges.  A RWJ brief reports:

Premium increases will be quite low between 2014 and 2015. In the rating areas we examine in the 17 states plus the District of Columbia, six states will have average premium reductions across the carriers’ lowest cost silver plans, 10 will have small premium increases (defined as 5% or less), and two will have increases greater than 5 percent. Across the 39 rating regions studied within those states, 18 will have average percentage premium reductions across their carriers’ lowest cost silver plans, 11 will have small increases, and 10 will have larger increases (greater than 5%).

Although this is mostly good news, the individuals in rural areas may not be as fortunate.

Larger premium increases are more likely to occur in rural areas. For example, the rural counties studied in Tennessee will see a 21.4 percent increase in the average lowest cost silver premiums offered by carriers in 2015. Premiums will increase in the study’s selected rural counties in Michigan by 6.7 percent, in New York by 7.9 percent, and in West Virginia by 9.0 percent.


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