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

ums for everyone," said Kurt Giesa, director, Oliver Wyman, Inc.

Individuals also will experience premium increases as a result of new minimum benefit requirements, according to the analysis. The proposed benefit design requirements, including covered services and 60 percent minimal actuarial value, would lead to an average total premium increase of 14 percent in the individual market.

"Healthcare reform cannot be considered successful if it makes coverage more expensive," said Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO. "This analysis illustrates that is exactly what will happen if new insurance market reforms in the individual market are not paired with effective mechanisms to ensure broad participation in the market, as well as with sensible discounts for young people."

The Oliver Wyman, Inc. analysis also finds that costs will increase in the small group market as a result of the reforms included in the PPACA. Small employers purchasing new policies in the reformed market will experience premiums up to 20 percent higher in year five of reform, not including the impact of medical inflation. The analysis concludes that these premium increases will lead to fewer small employers offering coverage, with as many as 2.9 million fewer people insured through small-employer policies.

The new Oliver Wyman, Inc. analysis projects premium increases that are much higher than what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated. While CBO's estimate recognizes the Senate proposal will increase premiums significantly in the individual market, it understates the impact in a few key areas that affect the magnitude of expected premium changes:

  • Adverse selection will occur with weak coverage incentives as currently included in the Senate bill. CBO believes there will be "limited" adverse selection. However, experience shows if healthy individuals can wait to get coverage until they need it, many people
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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