State ACA Exchange Rate Changes Vary Wildly For 2017
The median benchmark exchange plan premium will increase 16 percent in the 38 HealthCare.gov states, but the median may not have much to do with what’s happening in your state.
For an Affordable Care Act exchange plan, the benchmark rate is the “second-lowest silver premium” available in a market. That benchmark is important because managers of the ACA premium tax credit program use the benchmark to set subsidy levels.
In the HealthCare.gov states, the average cost of the second-lowest-cost silver plan will actually fall 3 percent in one state, Indiana, and rise 116 percent in Arizona.
Benchmark rates will rise in 37 HealthCare.gov states. In those, the benchmark rate will rise less than 10 percent in eight states and rise more than 50 percent in six states.
For a 27-year-old, the actual 2017 benchmark premium will range from a low of $219 in New Hampshire to a high of $760 in Alaska.
That compares with a range of $175 to $590 this year.
In Florida, HealthCare.gov’s biggest market in terms of enrollment, the average benchmark rate will increase 14 percent to $347.
HHS analysts note that 85 percent of HealthCare.gov customers use ACA tax credits to help pay for the coverage and 59 percent get ACA cost-sharing reduction subsidies.
For consumers who qualify for both the premium tax credits and the cost-sharing reduction subsidies, the subsidy programs could eliminate most or all of the effect of the premium increases on what those low-income consumers pay out of pocket for coverage.