Health insurance premiums for commercial coverage under the Affordable Care Act will rise sharply next year across most of the country, but the vast majority of consumers in Ohio will be shielded from the rate hikes by tax credit subsidies, according to federal health officials (Source: “Most Ohioans shielded from Obamacare increases,” Dayton Daily News, Oct. 25, 2016).
The Obama administration announced that premiums for the second-lowest cost “Silver” plans sold through federally facilitated health insurance marketplaces in Ohio and 38 other states will rise by an average of 25 percent, from $242 a month this year to $302 next year.
But some states will see much bigger jumps in premiums under the health care law than others.
The average premium for the benchmark Silver plan in Ohio is expected to rise just 2 percent, from $222 a month this year to $226 in 2017. And that’s before accounting for premium tax credit subsidies available to most individuals with incomes from $11,880 to $47,520 a year, who qualify for coverage in the marketplaces because they don’t have access to employer-sponsored insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.
About 80 percent of marketplace consumers in Ohio qualify for the income-based subsidies, which increase if premiums increase so individuals and families don’t have to bear the full brunt of the price hikes passed on by insurance companies to cover the medical costs of their policyholders.