The higher premium rates will affect consumers enrolling in the benchmark silver plan, where federal subsidies are based. While the administration has said that the consumers who qualify for subsidies most likely will not notice the price hikes, the 2017 rate increases are still a leap from the 7.2 percent average increase in 2016.
Additionally, consumers may feel the effects of less marketplace competition when deciding what plan to enroll themselves in next year. Compared to last year’s 47 available plans, consumers will only have 30 plans to choose from in 2017. The new numbers come after several large insurance companies, such as UnitedHealth, announced that they would exit a majority of the ACA exchanges in the upcoming year due to financial losses. As a result, there are a few states who will only have a single insurer offering plans in the 2017 exchanges.
The news of the 22 percent increase average comes after a steady release of insurance premium increases in the double digits from individual states across the country. While some states had minimal average increases, many consumers will see a large increase. For example, consumers in Minnesota will see insurance premiums rise by nearly 67 percent and individuals in Tennessee can expect a 62 percent increase by certain providers.
With the next Open Enrollment period beginning on November 1, and Election Day following shortly behind it, consumers must soon make their decisions and choose the health care plan that will provide them with the best coverage.