Expected price of Obamacare mounts

The Affordable Care Act could boost the cost of underlying claims by 32%, with worst-hit states including Ohio and California.

By Aimee Picchi Mar 27, 2013 11:45AM

Image: Pills © SuperStockWith many Americans and businesses concerned about the impact of Obamacare, a new study from the country's top group of financial risk analysts is providing fodder for those fears. 

Underlying claims costs -- which form the basis for insurers' health care coverage premiums -- will jump by one-third across the U.S. after the Affordable Care Act goes into effect next year, according to the Society of Actuaries.

But that increase won't be felt evenly across the country because the study forecasts that some states will feel more pain than others. Among the hardest-hit will be Ohio, where claims costs will jump by almost 81%, and California, with a 62% increase. 

Other states projected to see big increases in claims costs are Wisconsin, with an 80% jump; Indiana at 68%; Maryland, with a 67% bump; and Idaho at 62%.

What does that mean for individuals? If you're already covered by your employer's plan, not much. But if you're uninsured or buy health insurance directly, the study indicates costs could rise for some people, according to The Associated Press.

The actuaries' report is a blow to the Obama administration, which designed the new law to decrease the ranks of uninsured Americans and to whittle away the overall cost of health care. As many as 32 million Americans are expected to receive health care coverage through the law. 

The study also supports criticism coming from many business owners, such as the Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchisee who complained earlier this month that Obamacare is forcing him to delay expansion plans and might increase prices. Top executives and franchisees for companies including Wendy's (WEN) and Whole Foods Market (WFM) have also aired worries about the plan.

One problem: An influx of sick people joining the insurance rolls "will overwhelm the expected lower costs" from younger and healthier people joining the program, the study notes. 

The Obama administration questioned the findings, saying costs will go down under the law, which takes effect next year, the AP notes. 

The silver lining in the study is its finding that some states will actually see decreasing costs. Among those are New York, with claims costs sliding 14%, and Massachusetts, with a 13% decline. 

"In simplest terms, the states that will see large increases generally have low current individual costs and those showing decreases have high current individual costs, with all states moving closer together but at a higher level overall," said Kristi Bohn, a consulting health staff fellow at the Society of Actuaries, in a statement. 

The Society of Actuaries doesn't view itself as a political group, Bohn told the AP. "We are trying to figure out what the situation at hand is," she said.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

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Mar 27, 2013 12:35PM

Thumbs up if you are not surprised that Obamacare will cost us more.


Thumbs down if your are surprised that Obamacare will cost us more.

Mar 27, 2013 12:50PM
Hopefully, it will hurt those that voted for Obama the most.
Mar 27, 2013 1:16PM

What did Nancy Pelosi say? Pass the bill so we can figure out what's in it? Well, looks like we figured it out. Very irresponsible behavior by our elected officials.

Mar 27, 2013 1:02PM
Mar 27, 2013 1:06PM
Who with a half of a brain didn't see this coming even before they voted on this without reading the underlying mess it was written. The whole while when focus should have been the Budget, Economy and jobs, this clown felt a need to sooth his own ego.  Can you say con-artist and schmoo?  
Mar 27, 2013 12:29PM
Do not worry. The government can do everything better than private industry, NOT!!!
This will cost more with much longer waiting periods. How many people do you think will be going to the doctor that do not have to pay anything out of pocket. Yep, not like you and me with co-payments.

Mar 27, 2013 1:12PM
I knew that the Bush Administration would have trickle down impacts on the current Obamastration...Guess we should continue to blame Bush and the right wing for all this mess.

Someone just tell me how the F**K this president was re-elected and why is he still in office?
The fiscal impacts of Obamacare is only a drop in the bucket.  These people will not stop until they have it all to give away to every country trying to kill us.  Not to mention that today being a politician means living a lavish lifestyle, paid for by you and me.

Over the last few years, our government has provided direct cash aid to:
Hamas - $351 M,
Libya $1.45 B,
Egypt - $397 M,
Mexico - $622 M,
Russia - $380 M,
Haiti - $1.4 B,
Jordan - $463 M,
Kenya - $816 M,
Sudan - $870 M,
Nigeria - $456 M,
Uganda - $451 M,
Congo - $359 M,
Ethiopia - $981 M,
Pakistan - $2 B,
South Africa - $566 M,
Senegal - $698 M,
Mozambique - $404 M,
Zambia - $331 M,
Kazakhstan - $304 M,
Iraq - $1.08 B,
Tanzania - $554 M.

And now they cannot reduce the national debt and cannot pass a reasonable federal budget.

Mar 27, 2013 1:07PM
Goodbye USA, hello Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and the rest of the bankrupt countries.
Mar 27, 2013 1:05PM
Wasn't the whole point of ACA was to bring DOWN the premium? Especially for indiv insurers? I guess the whitehouse didn't do the homework thoroughly. 
Mar 27, 2013 1:22PM

Obamacare has nothing to do with healthcare. It's all about control. When your healthcare costs go up, you lose more of your income. When companies start laying off or reducing workhours, you will either lose more of your income or all of it. The less money you have, the fewer goods and services you will be able to afford. The fewer goods/services required = more people losing wages and jobs.

Obama is bankrupting this country. Obama is depleting your libereies and freedoms.

Poor people, and those dependent on the goverenment have very little freedom/liberty to do as they please.

Do you see it now people?? 

Mar 27, 2013 1:15PM



Isn't this what has been said since day 1?


Evil bill from evil people, and don't give me any Romney crap.

Mar 27, 2013 1:24PM
The POS in the White House lied to you........yet again.   And you stupid morons are surprised?!
Mar 27, 2013 1:08PM
This comes as no surprise. Anytime you take on uninsured people who have no coverage, someone has to foot the bill. This is not rocket science. Just wait until this thing gets rolling and see what happens to our taxes!! Since everyone is required to carry coverage, I can see a flood of claims coming as soon as the gates open ...
Mar 27, 2013 12:29PM

Corruption is the biggest expense in healthcare and in government.

Even BEFORE Obama Care was around the USA spent 17.5% of GDP on healthcare while most countries spent 14.5% and covered everyone...... why?

Well in the USA you pay $10.00 for a pill that you would pay 50 cents for in any other country.  In the USA hospitals charge $40.00 for a pill dispenser that is in reality a paper cup.  Subsidies, extra lucrative contracts and tax breaks are given to all manner or companies whether it's health care, defense or what ever.  These are the reasons for government debt, the idea that it's the Baby Boomers fault, or immigrants, or Obama Care, or the young generation, or Abortion or Gay marriage, or gun control is all just smoke and mirrors to keep you afraid of your neighbor while the government and big companies line their pockets with YOUR MONEY.

Congressmen sit on the same boards of companies they gave contracts and tax breaks to and their nephews are the CEO's.  Unlimited campaign contributions and super packs have made it so no one but these guys can run for office.  Don't fall for their lies and don't turn on each other.

Mar 27, 2013 1:22PM
I hope Obama's bracket is still doing well, it's hard to focus on good picks with all these lies he has to keep straight.
Mar 27, 2013 1:22PM
Obamacare is a regulation nightmare, how could it be affordable?  It will cost thousands just to make sense of it and all those lawyers fees are going to be passed on to the consumer.  Of course, maybe that's the intent of Obamacare for it sure isn't health care reform.
Mar 27, 2013 1:16PM

Hate to believe negatively, but take a good look around, and you will come to the conclusion:  All who pay for health insurance, whether or not it's individual, group or employer plans, will have to pay 32-80%+ MORE.


Mar 27, 2013 1:11PM

Great. Could have written this article myself before the dang thing was signed into law. Only people who should be surprised it will cost more than they said are not able to count in the first place.  Unlike the unfunded wars and other unfunded costs of government, this law passes the cost on to us, the individuals required to buy or the businesses required to provide insurance to employees. Like Gomer Pyle says, "Surpise, Surprise, Surprise"!

Mar 27, 2013 12:47PM
Some states? Funny, this article has just a few states will see a decrease, like 5 or so.

Mar 27, 2013 1:29PM
The "Affordable Health Care Act".  Yeah, right, Obama screwed the citizens of the USA again.
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