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Early Analysis In Eleven States Finds Modest Increases For ACA Silver Plans

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of ACA plans in major metropolitan areas in 11 states where data are available, including the District of Columbia, finds that preliminary 2016 premiums for benchmark silver plans grew modestly, but increased more sharply this year than last year. The average increase for benchmark plans across the cities is 4.4 percent for 2016 compared with a 2 percent increase nationwide in 2015.

Premium changes for the benchmark plans vary significantly across the cities in the analysis, ranging from a decrease of 10.1 percent in Seattle to an increase of 16.2 percent in Portland, Ore. Complete 2016 rate information isn’t yet available for all states.

In 2016, the number of insurers offering coverage stayed the same or increased in nine states, but decreased in Michigan and the District of Columbia, according to the analysis.

The Affordable Care Act’s rate review provision requires early public notification of very large premium increases exceeding 10 percent in all states, and recent press reports focused on these rates when they were submitted. This analysis examines rate information for silver plans in the largest city in 10 states and the District of Columbia, where complete rate information is available. Silver plans are the most popular with marketplace enrollees, selected by 68 percent of enrollees. The benchmark silver plan is the second lowest-cost silver plan available in each market, and its rates are used to determine the size of premium tax credits available to low- and moderate-income enrollees, regardless of which plan they choose.

Analysis of 2016 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces is available on kff.org.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.