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Yeah, it is hilarious. I have the philosophy that money talks and BS walks. You can post as many links to teabag-approved websites as you want, but teabag-approved websites don't offer health insurance in Washington State, insurance companies do

Better yet, go to websites of insurance companies offering the plans on the exchange.

The impact on individuals’ monthly rates
Our recent, preliminary analysis projects that consumers in Washington who purchase their own healthcare coverage, rather than receive it through their employer, will see an average rate increase of 16 percent to 47 percent in 2014 when the ACA takes effect. In Alaska, our most recent preliminary analysis indicates increases of 21 percent to 79 percent.

Why will rates increase?
There are three key factors that will raise individual rates under the ACA:
Mandated minimum benefit levels that require health plans to sell coverage that has more comprehensive benefits and is therefore more expensive than the plans that many of our customers choose to purchase today.
Independent studies show individuals new to the market in 2014, who have previously been without health coverage, will have higher medical costs than current individual market customers. The cost of covering these individuals increases prices for all members.
Additional taxes and fees required by the ACA to help fund the operation of the healthcare Exchange and pay for risk management programs.
Today’s article in the Spokesman suggested that Premera believes the cost of coverage will increase by an average of 15 percent. That’s not correct. That 15 percent figure represents just one element of the potential costs consumers will see as a result of the factors outlined above and doesn’t give the complete picture of what’s affecting rates.
The impact of federal subsidies
It’s very important to know the impact of the ACA will vary significantly by individual customer: there will be winners and losers with federal subsidies. Many consumers will see lower out-of-pocket costs for rates because of federal subsidies. But, many customers will pay more. In Washington, the Insurance Commissioner’s office has estimated that just 50 percent of customers in today’s individual market will be eligible for federal subsidies towards the cost of their healthcare coverage.
Here’s just one look at how significant that variation by customer can be. One example we analyzed is a family of four, with both adults between ages 30 and 34, with two small children. Depending on that family’s income, that family could pay anywhere between 62.6 percent less out-of-pocket in monthly rates to 51.4 percent more in monthly rates. This is a reminder that the impact of the ACA on individual customers will vary by household.
We’re concerned about the impact these rate changes due to the ACA will have on our customers, especially those not eligible for a federal subsidy. We plan to share additional information about our products and rates as soon as they are available. We’ll also be helping our members to understand what they can do to keep their out-of-pocket costs down and reduce costs in the long term.
Early Analysis Indicates Possible Significant Increases for Alaska Individual Plan Members


With many new federal healthcare reform provisions going into effect in less than a year, a lot of people have questions about what comes next. That’s especially true for Premera’s Alaska members because of uncertainty around the federal healthcare exchange. As 2014 approaches, we think it’s important to share what we know today: federal healthcare reform is certain to drive up the cost of coverage.
We have completed a preliminary analysis of how federal healthcare reform will impact rates in Alaska, and the results are significant. Our estimates show that premiums for the vast majority of Alaskans purchasing individual coverage will increase on average between 30 percent and 88 percent in 2014.
Over the last week there has been media coverage in the Alaska Journal of Commerce and the Alaska Dispatch about how the Affordable Care Act will impact Alaskans. Both articles shed additional light on this important topic.
Here are examples of what these average increases look like to our members purchasing individual and family coverage today; in this case our Safeguard $7,500 Plan:
A couple in the 50-54 age range with two teenage children would see a range between a 70.9 percent decrease up to a 109.9 percent increase in their out-of-pocket spending on premiums in 2014 compared to today, depending on their specific eligibility for federal subsidies.
A couple in the 30-34 age range with two young children (under age 5) could see a range between a 42.5 percent decrease up to a 157.8 percent increase, depending on their eligibility for federal subsidies.
It’s important to understand that individual customers with household income below 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (about $115,000 for a family of four in Alaska), will be eligible for federal subsidies in the Exchange that may offset that increase, and actually reduce out-of-pocket premium costs. Anyone not eligible for a subsidy is likely to face much higher costs.
Final rules and regulations are still emerging and we’re in the process of updating our estimates as more information becomes available. There’s a real possibility these preliminary estimates may come down somewhat in the final analysis, but the overall factors based on federal healthcare reform that will drive these premium impacts remain.
We will definitely continue to keep our members – in Alaska and Washington – informed on the impact of federal healthcare reform as more information is available.
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