Obtaining insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges will be even more expensive next year, according to a new report.
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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that ObamaCare premiums will rise 15% in 2019, driven in large part by the administration’s decision to eliminate the individual mandate penalty, which means people will no longer face a fine for not having coverage. That change is expected to lead to less healthy people buying insurance on the exchanges.
Through 2028, the CBO projects premiums will climb about 7% per year, on average.
However, many who buy coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges also receive subsidies, which helps shield them from price increases.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced a plan to extend short-term, limited-duration health coverage to 12 months, in an effort to reduce costs. Such coverage wouldn’t meet all of the Affordable Care Act requirements.
Under ObamaCare, short-term plans provide coverage for about 90 days and are primarily intended for people between jobs, but the Trump administration wants the plans to be available to people in counties with scarce exchange offerings and to those who missed the open enrollment period.
The government expects 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could take advantage of the expanded short-term insurance offerings in 2019.
Short-term plans provide less extensive, but also less expensive, coverage than the traditional ACA-compliant alternative. For an individual, it can cost about $100 per month, or $250 for the average family.
The plans don’t cover such areas as preventative care or pre-existing conditions.