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

will make that rational choice.
  • Newly insured people will be more costly than expected. Adding the previously uninsured will significantly increase premiums in the individual market. Contrary to CBO, Oliver Wyman, Inc.'s analysis of actual claims' costs in the individual market predicts that the uninsured will actually be 20 percent more expensive to insure than those in the individual market today, whose current population is much healthier. Had CBO adopted a similar assumption, their premium impact would have been higher.
  • The subsidies included in the bill will encourage participation, but are insufficient to drive effective coverage levels. Subsidies will lead a large percentage of those with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to purchase insurance. But subsidies decline at higher income levels, and more than 18 million people, including both currently uninsured individuals and current members of the individual market, will be ineligible for subsidies. As a result, participation rates will be much lower for those above 200 percent FPL without meaningful incentives. In the first of year of reform, 25 percent of the exchange eligible population is projected to exceed the 8 percent "affordability" threshold and are exempt from the mandate. Premium increases over a ten-year period are projected to result in nearly half of the population qualifying for mandate exemption status.
  • National estimates do not capture the true impact at the state level. The impact will vary significantly by state because of regional differences in rating laws today. Oliver Wyman, Inc. found that two-thirds of Americans live in states where the average premium impact will be much higher than a national average.
  • "Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies remain committed to enacting healthcare reform to expand coverage to everyone, improve quality, and rein in costs," said Serota. "We urge Congress to ado
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    SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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