Wisconsin Obamacare rates will increase an average of 16 percent in Wisconsin next year. Robert Kraig with the advocacy group Citizen Action concedes that health care cost inflation remains a serious problem under the Affordable Care Act. “The inflation rate overall is still slower – as hard as it is to believe for people that are trying to pay for it – than it was before we passed the health care law,” Kraig said.
Kraig characterizes the Wisconsin Obamacare increases as moderate, and when considering both premiums and deductibles, costs actually decrease for people who utilize health care services.
“The one silver lining is that deductibles went down in Wisconsin by 15.6 percent,” he said. Citizen Action analyzed premiums and deductibles for benchmark plans in all 72 Wisconsin counties for a 40-year-old.
Subsidies will help to offset the increased premium costs, which are expected to average 25 percent nationally. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 69 percent of Wisconsin consumers will pay $100 or less per month for coverage when including subsidies, and 56 percent will pay $50 or less.
Kraig said one big area of cost containment should be in prescription drug prices. “Those who say in essence that because we still have a big problem with health insurance inflation that we need to turn the clock back and repeal the health care law, they’re going in the wrong direction,” he said.
“Wisconsin is anticipating 37,160 residents to lose individual health insurance coverage in 2017 due to insurers exiting the exchange, also known as the Federally Facilitated Market Place (FFM), or scaling back on previously serviced counties,” said Ted Nickel, Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance.
“These consumers will unfortunately endure the harms of ‘auto re-enrollment’ unless they understand their options moving forward. To alleviate confusion, we will be traveling the state to provide information on the 2017 open enrollment and strongly encourage consumers who will be affected by ‘auto re-enrollment’ to opt-out and shop for health care coverage either on or off the exchange.”
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is holding informational sessions across the state in the form of town hall meetings.