Ranking Member Waxman Releases New Analysis of Proposed ACA Insurance Rates

May 20, 2013

Today, Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman released a new analysis that provides the first detailed look at the 2014 Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual market premium filings. 

To date, five states have reported the rates proposed by insurers seeking to offer plans in the 2014 health insurance marketplace:  Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington.  These rate filings provide the first available real-world evidence of what premiums will look like in the ACA health insurance marketplace in 2014.

The new analysis finds that in many cases the ACA appears to be reducing rates, even before tax credits are taken into account.  In Washington, consumers will see average reductions of 21% - or $1,120 a year - in bronze plans and 25% - or $1,875 per year - in silver plans. 

Consumers can save even more through comparison shopping on the new health insurance exchanges.  In Oregon, by switching to the lowest cost plan with the same level of benefits as their current plans, consumers would save an average of 32% - or $1,370 per year - for bronze plans.  Consumers in silver plans in Washington could save an average of 36% - or nearly $2,700 per year – through comparison shopping.

Competition under the ACA is already providing significant benefits.  In Oregon, the release of the proposed rates prompted two insurers who had announced rate increases to reverse themselves.  And in Maryland, two new insurers are entering the market for 2014.

There are a number of factors not included in this analysis that are likely to cause health insurance rates under the ACA to be even lower than described here.  Most of the insurance rates released so far do not include the impact of the ACA tax credits.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, 86% of individuals who received coverage through the new ACA Exchanges will receive tax credits, with the average credit reducing costs by over $5,000 per year.