Most popular Obamacare plans cost average of 34 percent more for 2018




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In this 2015 file photo, a man holds a sign directing people to an insurance company where they can sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

The average price of the most popular types of Obamacare health plans sold on the federal insurance marketplace will be at least 34 percent higher in 2018, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

The Avalere Health analysis also found lower — but still double-digit — average price hikes for the other types of Obamacare plans, which go on sale Nov. 1.

Continued uncertainty in Obamacare markets, and the Trump administration’s threats and eventual decision to cut off key payments to insurers are fueling the higher prices, Avalere said.

Many Obamacare customers will be insulated from those sharply higher rates because their premiums are subsidized by the federal government.

The subsidies can significantly reduce what a customer directly pays in premiums, with many subsidized customers being able to find a plan for $100 per month or less.

More than 80 percent of Obamacare customers who buy plans on government marketplaces get such subsidies, in the form of tax credits, because they have low or moderate incomes.

But customers who do not qualify for subsidies will get hit with the full impact of the price hikes. In many states, nonsubsidized customers will have to shell out more than $100 per month more than what they currently pay for their plans.

About 18 million people who do not get health coverage through a job, Medicare or Medicaid are covered by the types of individual health plans whose prices Avalere analyzed. And about 11 million of those people buy coverage through a government-run exchange.

Avalere’s analysis came on the same day that prices for 2018 insurance plans were posted for public view on HealthCare.gov, the federally run exchange that sells individual plans in 36 states.




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