The latest finding that health care reform is going to cause substantial premium increases for many insureds comes from the highly reputable Society of Actuaries. (Soc. of Act. Rpt) The group finds that claim costs will rise and therefore premiums will as well in most states. The authors first note that without reform there will be 52.4 million Americans without insurance and with reform 32.4 of those will get coverage. Of those, about 10.4 will get individual insurance and that is focus of the cost analysis. Note that there will still be about 6.5% of people without insurance; so much for the notion that reform will lead to everyone having insurance. About 80% of individuals are projected to get coverage in the exchanges. The projected per person per month cost of health care for individual coverage will increase an average of 32%, with wide variation across states due to existing differences in state laws, from an increase of 80% in Ohio to a decrease of about 14% in New York. Obviously these increases are going to pass right through to premiums. While a few people may see a decrease, just as obviously with that big an average increase, most people are going to get hit hard.
The Administration called the report “misleading” which is really hilarious coming from a group that has flat out lied for years (lying is knowing that what you are saying isn’t true) about the effects of reform, first to get it to pass and now to try to minimize the negative effects. The Society of Actuaries is entirely apolitical, and very cautious in all their analyses. If anything they have likely greatly understated the actual impact of the law. The Administration, and its apologists in fantasyland, also claim that the blow will be greatly softened, if not eliminated, because of subsidies under the law. That is simply not true. Remember that most of these people do not have insurance, most by choice–they are the young and healthy. They are going to pay something where before they were paying nothing. And a large number of this group of the uninsured won’t be eligible for a subsidy or only for minimal subsidies. Between this reality and the likely high group insurance premium increases, soon no one will believe that there is anyway the reform law ever could have or will reduce what health care coverage costs.