The Kaiser study examined published rates in areas that included a major city in each state. In 12 of the 16 ratings areas, at least one of the insurers that had offered one of the two lowest-cost silver plans in 2014 will no longer offer a low-cost silver plan in 2015, the Kaiser study said.
“Consumers should go into the open-enrollment period prepared to shop for the best deal all over again,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at Kaiser, said in a statement. “You could end up paying more if your insurer is no longer offering one of the low-cost plans, so you should look carefully at your options.”
Those in bronze-level plans, which are the least expensive option to satisfy the ACA's requirement for coverage, should expect to see their premiums rise an average of 3.3%. Rate changes examined for bronze plans ranged from a 15.7% decrease in Hartford, Conn. to a 13.3% increase in Baltimore.
Of the 5.4 million individuals who selected a plan through the federally facilitated marketplace for 2014, 65% chose a silver plan, 20% chose bronze, 9% chose gold, and 5% chose a platinum plan. The remaining 2% chose a catastrophic plan, according to a May HHS report. Gold, platinum and catastrophic plan rates were not analyzed for the Kaiser report.
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