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New Actuarial Analysis Shows Senate Bill Would Significantly Raise Premiums
Date:12/3/2009

Recent CBO analysis understates key factors contributing to increases

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new actuarial analysis by Oliver Wyman, Inc. finds that average annual medical claims in the new individual market will be 54 percent higher than they are today five years after implementation of healthcare reform under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), excluding the impact of medical inflation. This would translate into premiums for people purchasing new policies of $4,561 for single coverage and $9,669 for family coverage in today's dollars - representing premium increases of $1,576 and $3,341, respectively.

The significant increases in costs for individuals are in part attributed to the inclusion of new guarantee issue rules without the support of a strong mechanism to ensure that everyone obtains and maintains coverage. This means that many people are likely to wait to purchase coverage until they need it, raising premiums for everyone. Without a stronger coverage mechanism, and other changes to improve affordability, coverage levels are unlikely to reach more than 91 percent of the population.

The Oliver Wyman, Inc. analysis, commissioned by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), is based on a comprehensive actuarial model developed to study the impact of different health insurance reform proposals on the individual and small group insurance markets. This new analysis examined all major insurance reform elements included in the PPACA.

The model also found that premiums for the youngest 30 percent of the population, who are needed to help lower premiums for everyone, will increase by 35 percent as a direct result of the 3:1 age band included in the PPACA. "Significantly restricting age discounts coupled with a weak mandate will cause young people - who are critical to providing cross subsidies - to forgo coverage resulting in higher premi
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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