Obamacare may boost premiums in 3 states

Ohio, Minnesota and South Dakota may see higher payments for individuals, but more states will see no change.

By Aimee Picchi Aug 30, 2013 12:49PM

Image: Prescription medicine expenses © Don Farrall, Photodisc, Getty ImagesWith states readying their Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges for October enrollment, some residents are wondering how the efforts will impact their health care costs. 

The question about Obamacare's impact has been answered, at least in part, by a new study from the policy think tank Rand, which looked at how the market for individuals and small businesses will be impacted in 10 representative states.

Individuals in three of those states -- Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio -- could see premium increases of up to 43%, although Rand cautions that the increases don't include federal exchange tax credits, which would lower the effective price for consumers. 

Half of the 10 states studied by the group will experience no increases for individuals, while two -- Louisiana and New Mexico -- may see decreases in premiums. The states with no projected changes are Florida, Kansas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas. 

"Our analysis shows that rates for policies in the individual market are likely to vary from state to state, with some experiencing increases and some experiencing decreases in cost,” Christine Eibner, the study's lead author and a senior economist, said in a statement.

Despite that assessment, Rand notes that there's overall good news for consumers, with the study finding "no widespread trend toward sharply higher prices in the individual market," according to Eibner. 

The findings come as more Americans continue to oppose the law than support it. About 42% harbor a negative view of the Affordable Care Act, with only 37% saying they support it, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey released this month.

One of the chief reasons for opposition is concern about the potential cost and impact of the health-care overhaul, which requires large employers to provide health-care insurance to their full-time employees. Already, employers including Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) have cut employee hours to avoid paying for insurance.

The differences between the states' expected premiums depends on how many residents already carry insurance. Because Ohio, North Dakota and Minnesota already have highly insured populations, fewer young, healthy people will be joining those marketplaces. The law depends on an influx of younger participants to lower prices for the overall pool. 

The survey found some good news for small group enrollment. Rand noted, "Small group premiums largely will be unchanged under the Affordable Care Act."

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

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Aug 30, 2013 1:45PM
All studies should be approached with professional skepticism especially when done by a think tank which may have ulterior motives for what they publish. When evaluating a study it is good to find out who paid for the study and the ideological backgrounds of those involved. Too often people blindly believe any study any organization puts out without first evaluating the study itself on its merits. Statistics can be manipulated to say whatever the person or group wants it to say. Just be careful before believing everything you read or hear
Aug 30, 2013 1:54PM
Obama-Care is going to raise the cost for every working tax paying person. The only ones that will benefit are the free loading shysters that will get something for nothing.
Aug 30, 2013 2:15PM
Its the same f'd up problem for the past 25 years and still nobody wants to address it. Until you start controlling how much is being charged for the healthcare products and services you arent going to harness and correct the cost of healthcare problem. Obama just wants those with money to pay more and those with none to continue to pay nothing. Its really that simple.
Aug 30, 2013 1:14PM
Aimee actually wrote something bad about Obamacare?!
Aug 30, 2013 5:30PM

WE have been told here in the state of Alabama an increase of 5% plus $3,000 per year due to OBAMACARE.  He is an idiot, I'm not stupid and I knew it was going to cost more.  But of course our wonderful government exempted themselves from it.


Aug 30, 2013 6:36PM
Everyone around me is dirt poor.  My neighbors drive new cars, have cable tv (the good cable tv), the greatest cell phones, and the greatest cell phone plans.  I can afford all of those things and more, however, that's not how I spend my money, most of those things I don't need.  I'm sure my health insurance rates will at least double to help pay for all of these poor folks.
Aug 30, 2013 5:06PM
What wasn't addressed is the fact that since passage of this "healthcare abortion" rates have SKYROCKETED in preparation for the enactment. Funny that wasn't factored in.....Not unlike the cutting of hours to part time workers in preparation.......Question......please tell me ONE TIME, ONE INSTANCE when a gov policy saved money.......When, I believe medicare was introduced the projected costs were 3 Bil.... Hundreds of billions later (can you say $Trillion)....... The idea that the people running this country who haven't been able to balance the budget in the last 40 yrs will somehow not totally screw this up also.......get real.
Aug 30, 2013 4:44PM
And the "Unafordable Health Care Act" gets rammed down our throats... While middle America takes another screwing.  What a Joke!
Aug 30, 2013 1:30PM
3 states up 2 states down 5 neutral.  What happens to the states that are defaulting to the federal system instead of their own? 
Aug 30, 2013 1:52PM
Obama-Care may do this...and it may do that. And, Obama-Care could do this or may cause that. Obama-Care is going to send America straight to hell. Even the Road to Perdition was paved with good intentions.
Aug 31, 2013 11:25AM
I went on the Minnesota exchange site and ran their estimate of my premiums under the new Obamacare plan. I am in my early 60's and retired. I currently pay around $8600 a year for a high deductible ($9000) plan. The estimate back from MN website showed my premium would more than double to over $17,500 per year. (This is based on the Silver plan.) Not sure if this is apples to apples comparison but if this is anywhere close to the correct premiums I can see why the health insurance companies were all in favor of this train wreck. Now if my income qualifies I get to have taxpayers pay for a big chunk of that premium. Anyone who thinks health care costs are not going up a long with our federal debt will be sadly disappointed. 
Aug 30, 2013 4:14PM
i suspect we will not see the influx of young people they expect. My one daughter is going to drop her three kids and my other is not going to purchase health care insurance. The first daught is already on insurance and will be a net minus three young people (her kids) and the other is net zero. The big problem they cannot afford to wait for a tax credit to cover their premiums. Even on our companies plan adding a child to mseveral children still costs over $250 per month (not including the primary insured). When raising kids as a single parent you way food in the fridge now against insurance just in case and what do you think is going to win.
Aug 30, 2013 6:28PM
So there will be big increases in premiums, but those will be offset by federal tax credits?   Why does Washington always have to make things as complicated as possible?  Because if they made it simple, everyone would understand it and vote their butts out!
Aug 30, 2013 3:40PM
3 states will have to pay more?  But obama said costs would come down?

Does this mean he was a liar aimee? 

God aimee you are one stupid kuntbag

Aug 30, 2013 6:04PM
Poor sloppy writing from Aimee Picchi once again.  In the headline you say it's SOUTH Dakota, but in the story it's NORTH Dakota.  Which is it Aimee? 
Sep 1, 2013 7:55AM
I don't get it, we can afford to pay for wars,give away money to foreign countries,waste millions of hard earned taxpayer dollars but cannot institute a good fair healthcare system The country is corrupt and the politicians are too blame! They get the best healthcare plans and retire with them at taxpayer expense! Who voted that in and why can't I have the same?Wake up people, it's time to revolt and kick them all out of office!!
Sep 2, 2013 12:32PM
Several credible groups, not think tanks, that do these kinds of studies for a living, have said that Obamacare will increase the cost of insurance for each family by around 30% within the first two years.  There is no way to insure millions more people and not charge more tax to cover the cost.  Insurance is one of those things that if you have it and you need it then good for you and if you chose not to purchase insurance and need it then too bad...at least you still have your vacations, smart phones, parties, movies, cable tv, and designer clothes...until they are taken away to pay your bills.  The government needs to quit trying to run our lives and let people deal with the choices they make.  
Aug 31, 2013 4:54AM
 No one really gets medical care for free, the cost comes out of someone's pockets.  The insured see obscene hospital bills and doctor bills paid for by their insurance companies because these providers just inflate the bills to cover the non-payers.   The solution is quite simple and needs no thousand page law.  Do as some 3rd world countries do now,  no pay no care.  This will leave a lot of bodies in the streets by the hospitals but it will be the their own doing. It will appease those who want small government and be constitutional.   Where does the Constitution say that must take our personal resources to help the needy ?  That's in a different book.    If we have Medicare and Medicaid to cover the true poor, then the uninsured will be those who think they wont get sick and if they do, will force themselves onto the hospital emergency rooms and let the rest of us pay for their irresponsible behavior.   This policy will change the attitudes of the intentional uninsured, many of whom get temporary insurance when they take trips to the foreign countries that will not give treatment to those who cannot pay.  Some will say this is uncivilized and inhumane, which is true but instead of hot air in distant Washington it will bring cold truth to the local doorsteps.
Sep 1, 2013 1:05AM
In only three states.......  About like me becoming an astronaut..... after I retire as the 2nd baseman for the Yankees.
Aug 30, 2013 4:25PM
It's all projection based on assumptions. If young healthy people "op out" then the cost of health insurance will skyrocket. If young healthy people purchase health insurance as expected, then the individual increase will start out at 43% and grow from there. Once the PPACA is in place it will be very difficult to support it on the merits, you will be left with naked principle.
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