While much attention has focused on the 8.5% rise in consumer prices through March, the cost of individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act is falling for the third year in a row, according to a new report.
Health insurance premiums in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, market “decreased in most states in 2022 for the third consecutive year,” according to a new report released Tuesday by the ‘Urban Institute. Benchmark plan premiums fell 1.8% nationally for the 2022 coverage year.
“Three years of declining referral bonuses combined with the provisions of the US bailout has been a victory for Marketplace consumers, as evidenced by the record number of signups,” said Kathy Hempstead, senior program manager at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funds the Urban Institute.
The news comes with a record number of registrations in the ACA’s individual coverage at nearly 14 million this year. Analysts attribute the record enrollment to the stability of moving bonuses thanks to the Biden administration as well as the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law last year which temporarily raised and expanded grants for 2021 and 2022 for people low and middle income. and families to take out health coverage.
“Overall, we’ve seen Marketplace premium reductions in 2022 in many states and localities,” said Urban Institute Fellow John Holahan. “Several new factors affected insurers as they set premiums for 2022, including increased competition from insurers and generous American Rescue Plan Act subsidies that have increased the likelihood that healthy people will choose to buy coverage previously deemed unaffordable.”
But all is not good in the area of health insurance, as the costs of employer coverage continue to rise. The Urban Institute report said the good news on Obamacare contrasts with premium increases in employer-sponsored plans of 3.6% in 2021 and 3.9% in 2020.