The Lund Report,, May 4, 2016
News source: Oregon Public Broadcasting
In the small universe that is health insurance, 2017 may turn out to be pretty nice for the men and women who predict how much insurers have to pay out in claims.
“Actuaries across the country will be able to sleep better at night for 2017,” John Bertko, chief actuary for Covered California, said.
Bertko says after three years actuaries finally have the information to more accurately forecast what they need to make a profit. Better data is just one signal that premiums on the Obamacare exchanges will likely go up more than this year. More sick people than expected and exploding drug prices are two other important signs.
Virginia, one of the earliest states to publicly report proposed increases, has posted that carriers are looking for hikes from 9 to 37 percent. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt said another factor is that companies are losing the key federal subsidy called ‘reinsurance’ that helps cover costs for the most expensive consumers.
“The reinsurance money has allowed premiums this year to be about 5% lower than they would have been if that subsidy didn’t exist,” he said.
Higher premiums will certainly mean more tax dollars to help cover the cost of subsidizing coverage.