Under the ACA, the Colorado insurance market is in chaotic flux. The NYT reports that the premium for one standard midlevel silver ACA plan rose this year by 36 percent in one part of Colorado, while in another part a premium for the same plan dropped by almost 40 percent. Apparently many insurers set their prices low to attract customers, but it’s no longer clear if the low rates will be sustainable in the long-run:
Because buyers are so sensitive to price, the markets may experience cycles in which insurers alternately offer low premiums to attract customers and sharply raise them in later years to cover costs, experts said.
The volatility has created more uncertainty among people who must renew their plans, switch to new ones or buy insurance for the first time under the law.
Judy Greenfield, 55, from Denver, was notified in November by the Colorado marketplace that she would have to pay about $125 more a month next year for the same plan. She worked with a broker to figure out her options, and switched insurers to find a less expensive plan. “To have to go through this every year, selecting a new plan, is just a pain,” she said.
One takeaway from this article is that’s far too early to tell how well the ACA is doing at keeping premiums down. It will take a while before the markets settle out and we see what the actual average premiums are, and it’s not really possible to assess how well that part of the ACA is working until then. In the meantime, workers are increasingly feeling the bite of rising costs. Uncertainty for many, rising costs for some: not a pretty picture for U.S. health over all.