In spite of concerns about “sticker shock,” rates for individual coverage on the new health insurance marketplaces appear to be lower than expected in most states due mainly to robust competition among insurers, the Obama administration reported Wednesday.
With prices all but finalized in most states, a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that monthly premiums in 47 states and the District of Columbia, on average, will be 16 percent lower next year than the Congressional Budget Office projected they would be in 2016 – when the marketplaces are at full capacity.
Roughly 95 percent of uninsured people who are eligible for marketplace coverage live in states where average monthly premiums for individual coverage is lower than expected, the report found. And the states with the lowest premiums have more than twice the number of plans offering coverage than states with the highest premiums.
Administration officials were clearly buoyed by the findings, which appear to support their claims that the Affordable Care Act would give consumers more choices and better rates by bringing more insurers into the markets.