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This ain't no death spiral (Obamacare edition)

February 2, 2017

So just after I published about the results of Obamacare, I came across a little document that demonstrates better how you can square my claims about the cost of Obamacare with the ALL CAPS HEADLINES declaring that premiums are going to infinity. In case you don't want to open the doc yourself - from 2015 to 2016, gross average premiums increased by 8% ($30 / month) and net average premiums by 4% ($4 / month). This is not a crisis.

Why are these increases so much lower than you've been reading? Well, the numbers reported usually talks about increases on a per-plan basis. But, people who have plans that go way up in price - they have a choice, going out and finding a new plan, which fully 43% of returning customers did. There is a chart included which shows that in some states, "switchers" vastly lowered their premiums, which is something to keep in mind when figures are quoted for a single state. Headline increase numbers for 2017 were higher than for 2016, so this might lead to higher bottom line increases - or it might not. We won't know until around April. And will the new administration will even release the figures?

[Note: this report is for the 37 states using healthcare.gov, so it misses the states that have set up their own exchanges.]

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