Obamacare premiums to increase 25 percent in 2017 – White House

© Lucy Nicholson
The Obama administration today confirmed that the president’s signature healthcare plan will see a double-digit spike in prices of premiums next year. Many Americans covered under the so-called “Obamacare” will be down to just one insurer.

Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, monthly premiums for mid-level health plans will rise by an average of 25 percent across the 39 states that use the HealthCare.gov website, reports the Associated Press. The exchange was created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, mandating the purchase of health insurance.

Not only that, but consumers will have fewer options to choose from, as the number of HealthCare.gov insurers will drop from 323 in 2016, to 167 in 2017.

So, enrollees may need to change doctors or drugs when they switch insurers,” said Caroline Pearson of the consulting firm Avalere Health.

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About one-in-five consumers will only have one insurer to choose from after UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna all scaled back their involvement.

"Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period," said Larry Levitt, who tracks the health care law for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

With subsidies, about 77 percent of people currently on the plan will still be eligible for an Obamacare plan for less than $100 per month, according to the administration’s report. The price hike generally does not affect employer-provided plans.

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At last count, there are still 27 million Americans without health insurance, which is a historic low and significantly lower than the 47 million who were uninsured when President Barack Obama signed the ACA in 2010. The government estimated that about half of them would be eligible for private coverage through HealthCare.gov.