Wednesday, January 29, 2020

AP Fact Check: Health Insurance Costs Up, But not Doubling

By on October 20, 2016

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. About 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance, more than at any time in history. But progress is incomplete, and the future far from certain. Rising costs could bedevil the next occupant of the White House. Millions of people previously shut out have been covered by President Barack Obama’s health care law. No one can be denied coverage anymore because of a pre-existing condition. But “Obamacare” remains divisive, and premiums for next year are rising sharply in many communities. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. About 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance, more than at any time in history. But progress is incomplete, and the future far from certain. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON — A claim from the final presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:

DONALD TRUMP: Insurance premiums under the Obama health care law next year “are going to go up over 100 percent.”

THE FACTS: Premiums are going up, and by double digits in many states, but to say it’s over 100 percent is pure hyperbole.

The full impact of next year’s premium increases is going to take time to sort out and vary across the country. Full information will be available Nov. 1 when the HealthCare.gov market goes live.

A study this summer by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation looked at 14 metro areas with complete information and found premiums were rising in 12 of them. The average increase for a popular option called the “lowest-cost silver plan” was 11 percent.

Since then, some states have reported higher numbers. California’s marketplace projected an average increase of 13.2 percent. The three insurers in Tennessee’s market got increases of 44 percent, 46 percent and 62 percent on average. In Minnesota customers will see increases ranging from 50 percent to 67 percent.

Many consumers receive subsidies that will offset the rising premiums, but an estimated 9 million people buy individual policies outside the health law’s markets and pay full freight. Many will be shocked when they get their renewal notices.

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