Obamacare is about to get a bit cheaper for lots of people
It will likely cost a little less to buy the benchmark Obamacare plan next year. The rate could drop for the first time since the Affordable Care Act exchanges opened in 2014.
The premium for the benchmark silver policy on the federal exchange is expected to decline by 2% for 2019, Health Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday.
The predicted decline for next year comes after a 37% spike for this year’s benchmark silver plan, upon which premium subsidies are based.
The number of insurers on the federal exchange also will grow for the first time since 2015, Azar said. Over the past two years, 44% of carriers have dropped out of the program.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers Obamacare, typically releases a more detailed look at the upcoming year’s premiums and insurer participation in late October. Open enrollment begins November 1 and runs through December 15 in most states.
Obamacare’s fortunes have taken a notable turn for the better this year. In 2017, insurers were fleeing the marketplace or hiking rates to combat the GOP-fueled uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
The new stability isn’t that surprising to those who watch the industry closely. Many insurers are breaking even or have started making a profit in the individual market, and the threat of Congress repealing the law has waned.