Obamacare And Big Employer Premium Rate Hikes Below 5%
Americans shouldn’t face major unexpected health cost increases for 2019 health benefits that they have seen in recent years, particularly for individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Several new studies are showing employer health premium increases generally below 5% depending on health plan choices while rate increases for individual coverage offered on the ACA’s public exchanges will be even less on average. Those with employer-sponsored coverage are just beginning to examine their healthcare coverage options for 2019 during open enrollment that starts now and generally runs through November depending on employer.
Benefits consultancy Mercer projects health benefit costs per employee will rise by 4.1% , according to its preliminary analysis of the first 1,566 responses to its annual survey of employer-sponsored health plans. Mercer’s analysis says the “underlying medical plan cost trend has cooled from 6.5% to 5.3% heading into 2019.”
For individual coverage offered under the ACA, premium increases have also slowed as health insurers become more familiar with the population buying such coverage.
Individual Obamacare market premiums are forecast to increase just 3.1% for the 2019 coverage year , consulting and health research firm Avalere Health says in a new report. This compares to 2018 when premiums jumped 30%, Avalere said, citing an analysis of ACA coverage in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Avalere said the 2019 Obamacare rate increases are the lowest on average since 2015.