Obamacare Rate Hikes: Coming Soon to a Region Near You?

Date: May 26, 2016 Last Edit: June 03, 2016

Rates will rise more in 2017 than they did in the past year, new research finds. How much? Depends on which state you live in.

Obamacare price hikes are on the horizon—though how high they’ll be depends on where your small business is located.

Those are the findings of two recent studies by Avalere and the Urban Institute, which studied silver-level plans, the most popular.

RELATED: The Unforeseen Consequences of Obamacare

So far, only nine states have completed data that shows these price changes. The average increase in these states is 16 percent, as opposed to 6 percent last year, The Hill reported.

Just over 26 percent of people live in regions that saw average premiums for the lowest-cost silver plan rise by more than 15 percent, CNBC reported. But a higher percentage of Americans, more than 29 percent, lived in a region where the average premium for such plan actually declined last year.

Price changes vary widely across states, from a 44 percent hike in Vermont to a 29 percent decrease in New York, according to the Washington Examiner.

Keep in mind, though, that “average” increases don’t really exist.

“We conclude that a national average of premium increase is a fairly meaningless statistic, since different markets are having very different experiences,” said the authors of the Urban Institute study.

Why Are These Hikes Happening?

The overall increases are likely due to “lower-than-expected enrollment, higher healthcare costs and the termination of two programs that helped to mitigate losses to insurers, known as reinsurance and risk corridors,” the Examiner reported.

Things have already gotten messy. Many recipients of Obamacare may find themselves switching to the less-expensive plans in order to avoid dramatic rate increases, The Hill reported. Others are turning to short-term healthcare plans as an alternative, according to CBS News.

It’s Not Too Late!

These rates aren’t finalized yet. 

“The proposed prices are just that—proposed,” CNBC wrote.

Insurers could choose to forgo or diminish rate increases later this year, and the final numbers for most states won’t be clear until Nov. 1, according to The New York Times. And state regulators can always reject them, The Hill stated.

There’s still time to advocate against these price hikes. Find out what NFIB’s doing to fight for the right kind of healthcare reform.

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