Health insurance premiums will jump 60% by 2025, Feds say

The Congressional Budget Office has new long-term projections on health insurance costs and they’re not looking good for consumers

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that by the year 2025 premiums for job-based health insurance will surge by about 60%—about $10,000 for singles and $24,500 for families. The agency noted that the increase roughly matches the same rate the premiums have been rising at since 2009, outstripping income gains by approximately 2% a year.

Higher increases have been predicted for plans purchased through the ACA marketplace: 8% increases annually until 2018, then 5-6% a year until 2025.

This would mean average annual 2025 premiums for such plans would about $5,000 for a single 21-year-old, $7,500 for a single 46-year-old, and $18,200 for a family.

The budget office pointed out that the plans appear slightly cheaper than job-based ones since their coverage is less extensive and requires more out-of-pocket payments for care.

An annual survey by Business Group on Health among businesses in Lancaster County, where the nonprofit is based in, found that average premiums increased by 34 percent for singles and 23 percent for families in the region for the year 2015.

“They're just getting whacked,” said Business Group on Health interim executive director Diane Hess of the individual businesses that could be affected. “There is no slowdown in sight.”

Job-based premiums in the region were also hiked considerably above the national average to $7,884 for singles and $19,692 for families due to an ACA insurance surge, Hess additionally noted.

“The positive thing that Obamacare did was expand health insurance coverage,” Hess remarked. “But it really hasn't done anything to address the cost issues of coverage.”

"We focus less on cost effective measures and have a health system that has a lack of transparency and information on prices and quality," Pennsylvania Health Access Network executive director Antoinette Kraus commented. "We need to start developing systems that reward value over volume and focus on systems that develop tools and coordination for consumers."

Pennsylvania is taking part in the federal State Innovation Models initiative on health care, noted Kraus, which should help address affordability issues.

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