Obamacare Premiums to Rise Considerably in Pennsylvania

Premiums for individual insurance plans will rise by roughly 33 percent on average in 2017, while premiums for small group plans will rise by 7 percent on average.

iStock/LPETTET

iStock/LPETTET

Rates for individual and small group health insurance plans offered in Pennsylvania under the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace will rise considerably in 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance announced this week.

Premiums for those who buy individual insurance plans will rise by roughly 33 percent on average, while premiums for small group plans will rise by roughly 7 percent on average.

The rates apply to those who purchase Obamacare plans on Healthcare.gov, the federally run exchange website. That population accounts for about 10 percent of Pennsylvania’s health insurance market, Pennsylvania insurance commissioner Teresa Miller said in a press release, and many of those who are affected should feel less of a burden if they receive income-based subsidies offered to supplement Obamacare.

“Making sure the public is aware of these increases now is important to give consumers the time they need to make the best healthcare decision for both themselves and their families,” Miller said in a press release.

A federal spokesperson told PennLive that most of the state’s online exchange customers can find a plan for less than $75 per month after subsidies.

Miller also announced that the Insurance Department had requested permission to file an amicus brief in support of health insurance company Highmark, which filed a lawsuit to require the federal government to fund risk corridor payments, or federal government inducements that were intended to help insurers during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Congress has yet to authorize the payments, Miller said, which would help to cover insurer losses.

The rate increases “make it clear that Washington needs to move swiftly to address consumer needs under the Affordable Care Act,” Miller said in a press release. “In particular, Washington’s refusal to live up to the law it passed and fund risk corridor payments to insurers that incurred higher claims than expected has led to large insurer losses and companies leaving the exchange.”

Rates for 2017 are available on Insurance Department website. Open enrollment will begin November 1st and continue through January 31st.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

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