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PwC: 2015 premium increases look to avg. 7.5 - 8.2%

Hat Tip To: 
Joshua Green Caitlin Sweany

...One of the scariest claims was that premiums were going to shoot up because only the sick and the old would sign up. The danger, of course, was that this would set off the so-called death spiral, where high prices prompt people to drop their coverage until eventually the whole project collapses in failure and shame.

...Here we are five months later, and those insurance officials have begun reporting their premium increases for next year. To put it mildly, those increases do not seem to fit the definition of “skyrocketing."

...The average national increase of 7.5 percent is “well below the double-digit increases many feared,” [PwC] HRI Managing Director Ceci Connolly wrote in ane-mail.

Needless to say, this is quite a bit different than the scenario the Hill laid out in March. A 7.5 percent average increase is somewhat smaller than the 100 percent increase the newspaper was predicting only five months ago.

The only caveat here is that the 7.5% average only covers 27 states; according to PwC researcher Caitlin Sweany, the overall average is actually a bit higher:

New updates to our 2015 health insurance premium map. Avg increase is now 8.2%.

— Caitlin Sweany (@caitlinsweany) August 12, 2014

I don't know if this is based on additional state data or what, but either way, it looks like the rate jumps are likely to be somewhat less than the 10-11% average increase that we saw in the years prior to the ACA being enacted (or, in my own family's case, an 82% increase in the 3 years for the exact same policy prior to the ACA regulations kicking in).

Hell, even Avik Roy admits that the 2015 rates look to be "modest" and "stable":

@joshtpm @the_sy_guy @JoshuaGreen Rate hikes were dramatic in 2014. 2015, as far as I can tell, shows stability.

— Avik Roy (@Avik) August 12, 2014

Of course, he tries to put that in the context of the alleged "49% rate spike" that the ACA allegedly caused this year...except that I've already addressed that as well.