Millions of Americans who recently began shopping for new health insurance coverage under Obamacare may be suffering from sticker shock.
Increases in 2016 premiums for health insurance coverage -- ranging from basic to top-flight policies -- will be in the double digits and easily eclipse premium hikes recorded between 2014 and 2015, according to a new analysis from consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
For instance, monthly premiums for the lowest-price Silver plan under the Affordable Care Act will rise by a median rate of 11 percent in the coming year, compared to just a 7 percent rate increase between 2014 and 2015, the study shows.
Across the board, the projected rate hikes for the lowest-priced options in each tier of coverage – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum – will contrast sharply with those increases of the previous year.
The median cost of the Bronze plans, one of the most popular offerings because of its relatively low premiums, will rise by 13 percent in 2016, compared to the 7 percent increase in this year’s premium. As for the high-end health insurance coverage for wealthier consumers, Gold’s median premium rate will jump 15 percent compared to 8 percent last year while Platinum’s rate will rise by 12 percent, compared to 10 percent this year.
The premium increases shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because numerous health experts and critics of the program have been predicting sizeable increases since last summer. That’s when a number of major insurers across the country sought regulatory approval for significant increases for 2016 to cover higher than anticipated claims from sick people who re-enrolled for individual policies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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