CBO Affirms H.R. 3962 Will Control Costs, Lower Premiums

Nov 3, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released estimates confirming that H.R. 3962 - the Democratic health reform bill - will succeed in controlling costs that will be reflected in individual and family premiums.  CBO found that by 2016, premiums will be $5,300 for an individual and $15,000 for a family of four in the Exchange.  This is well below the $24,000 family premium expected if Congress fails to act and premiums grow as projected under current law.

"This underscores that this legislation will control health care costs and lower health care premiums for families and individuals relative to today," said Chairman Henry A. Waxman, Chairman Charles B. Rangel, and Chairman George Miller.  "The Affordable Health Care for America Act will make health insurance and health care accessible for millions of low-income and middle-class families who currently lack affordable coverage."

A Kaiser/HRET survey found that in 2009, premiums for employer-sponsored coverage are $4,824 for individuals and $13,375 for family policies.  Current employer insurance is comparable to the coverage individuals and families will be able to expect in the Exchange with the bill's insurance reforms and consumer protections in place.  One recent projection estimated that health insurance premiums in 2016 will be over $8,000 for individuals and over $24,000 for families if health reform is not enacted.

CBO additionally recognizes that the House affordability credits and insurance reforms offer more help to more people than the Senate Finance Committee proposal.   These provisions work in tandem to make it more attractive and likely for all people, including older Americans and those with pre-existing conditions, to get insurance instead of remaining uninsured when compared to the Senate Finance Committee proposal.  The House legislation insures seven million more individuals, reaching 96 percent of all Americans.