“While those costs do not specifically track with the premiums insurers charge individual customers, it is expected that these increases in costs will also translate to significant premium increases for many Ohioans,” according to a news release from the insurance department.
“We have warned of these increases since a state-specific study in 2011 indicated Ohio would be significantly impacted by the ACA,” Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who is also the director of the department, said in a prepared statement. “The Department's initial analysis of the proposed rates show consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014.”
Fourteen carriers filed proposed rates for 214 different plans to the Department. Projected premiums ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health insurance plans. Taylor acknowledges that much of the reason for the higher costs is the required essential health benefits required in plans sold next year, which provides more generous benefits than typical plans currently offer. In addition, people with preexisting medical conditions who previously couldn't obtain or afford coverage in the state now will be able to access insurance, raising rates for healthier people.
Other states have also proposed 2014 premium rate that are much higher than for 2013. The reason for the state-to-state differences, according to Cori Uccello, a senior health fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries, is that states that previously imposed significant insurance market reforms, such as New York and Vermont, should see “stable premium changes as subsidies and income tax credits bring in a lower-cost population.” Consumers in states without significant insurance reform could see upward pressures on premiums.
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(This story has been updated with a correction.)