Debunking the ACA Rate Shock Myth

healthreform-150x150One of the myths that has been circulating about the impact of the Affordable Care Act is that it will force insurance rates to go up sharply. A new fact sheet from Community Catalyst dispels those myths.

Some things to remember when considering the impact that the ACA will have on private insurance premiums:

  • Because insurers will not be allowed to charge more on the basis of gender or health status, women and those who have been sick in the past will pay less for coverage.
  • In addition, insurers will be limited in how much more they can charge on the basis of age, so older adults will pay less.
  • The actual number of people who may see rate increases is very small, and those who are eligible for subsidies in the new health insurance marketplaces will still only pay a fixed percentage of their incomes.
  • Young people who aren’t eligible for subsidies can purchase catastrophic plans with better benefits, lower premiums, and higher deductibles.
  • Premiums for the young and healthy are already low, and they are unlikely to see a significant increase.
  • Insurance companies will be required to provide a set of comprehensive benefits, meaning that people will get better value for their premium dollars.
  • Starting in 2014, those with preexisting conditions cannot be denied coverage.
  • And the ACA has more stringent controls for rate review and requirements on the percentage of premium dollars that must be spent on actual medical costs.

The ACA has a number of provisions in place that will control costs for everyone, and ensure that everyone gets value for their premium dollars with fair pricing and a robust benefit package.

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