The latest data released by the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that the median monthly premium for the second-lowest silver plan in the federal marketplace will significantly increase by 16 percent next year. However, HHS has stated that approximately three-quarters of federal marketplace consumers will be able to pay a monthly premium, which will be less than $75 with federal financial assistance.
The findings from HHS also confirm the department’s projection, which allowed the clients to start searching for the plans they could purchase in the near future. In another report, HHS confirmed that the marketplace consumers would have an average of 30 plans available to them from which they can choose their health plan.
HHS believes that a successful open enrollment period ahead of the year 2017 might help them to strengthen the exchanges in the marketplace. However, some of the insurers have already decided to withdraw from offering marketplace plans in various states this year, which is supposedly due to financial losses. In addition to that, reports indicate that other insurers might also pull away due to the fear of sustaining financial losses.
The Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that they will be offering financial assistance to many marketplace customers. This assistance might help the administration to counter the news of double-digit premium increases. Assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS, Kevin Griffis said that the number of individuals eligible for federal tax credits would also increase along with the premiums. The department indicated that approximately 78 percent of marketplace-eligible customers would receive financial assistance.
“We’re going to be talking about the fact that for the vast, vast majority of marketplace consumers, the headline rates are simply not what they pay,” Griffis said, and added that the department issued the law to help the price-conscious consumers to afford their health coverage. He said, “That’s what we think is going to happen this year.”
Reports indicate that the size of increase in premium might vary from state to state. During a press call, HHS’s acting assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, Kathryn Martin told the reporters that the marketplace of the states that more actively implemented the Affordable Care Act were thriving compared to the others. Griffis commented that consumers would be able to choose from multiple different policies even in states, where a single insurer is offering marketplace plans.