Washington Post: Premiums for ACA health insurance plans could jump 90 percent in three years

The Republican tax law and Trump’s sabotage could cause premiums to skyrocket by as much as 94% within in the next three years


By Amy Goldstein


Insurance premiums for Affordable Care Act health plans are likely to jump by 35 to 94 percent around the country within the next three years, according to a new report concluding that recent federal decisions will have a profound effect on prices.


The nationwide analysis, issued Thursday by California’s insurance marketplace, finds wide variations state to state, with a broad swath of the South and parts of the Midwest in danger of what the report calls “catastrophic” average rate increases by 2021.


According to the analysis, the largest single impact will come from eliminating, starting in 2019, the ACA’s penalty for Americans who violate the law’s requirement that most people in the United States carry health coverage. That change alone, part of a massive tax bill Congress adopted in December, can be expected to increase premiums by 7 to 15 percent next year, depending on the state, and as much as 10 percent each of the following two years.


Also contributing to the escalating rates are the Trump administration’s decisions to shorten the sign-up time for consumers to buy ACA health plans and to severely curtail marketing and other activities to encourage people to sign up.