State Predicts Increase In Premiums After Health Care Law Implementation


The state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance released rate filings that show an expected increase in premiums under the Affordable Care Act.

Comparisons of premiums prior to the law and after show large increases ranging from single to triple digits. Critics say the rate information is vague and misleading.

The release shows average premium increases in eight large cities for young people, the middle-aged and 63 year olds. A written statement from the commissioner’s office noted health insurance cost comparisons are difficult.

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While officials predict premiums will increase for most consumers, the rates do not take into account federal subsidies. Those tax credits will reduce the bill for as many as half those who buy insurance online through the newly created exchange.

In addition to subsidies, the Affordable Care Act also changes insurance rules to the benefit of consumers.

“This is insurance rates for everyone getting coverage no matter what – not just healthy people that are considered a good risk for the insurance industry,” says Robert Kraig, the executive director for Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

The Walker Administration has been criticized publicly for its late release of data on insurance rates by former Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Kagan in a recent op-ed piece. Governor Scott Walker denied dragging his feet in making price information available for those buying coverage on the individual market.

“The timing of this has been set up so that once the rollout happens, it’s done in a way where everybody … is on the same page,” says Walker.

Walker sued unsuccessfully to stop the Affordable Care Act and refused federal money to expand Medicaid. States across the country have released varying predictions of premium increases under health reform. A recent study by Rand Corporation found many states will see little to no change.