Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Health Plans Scramble To Calculate 2015 Rates

continued...

"It is an actuarial nightmare to try to guess what you’re going to get," said Gold.

It's not just member health that insurers have to think about. President Barack Obama allowed many people to keep old plans that aren't compliant with ACA rules. Carriers must calculate how that exception (people covered under old plans are thought to be healthier on average) affects average costs in their new policies.

Backup resources for plans with disproportionate shares of sick and expensive members will become a little weaker next year. Insurers have to factor that into their rates.

And they need to look at the big picture.

What economists call the cost trend -- how high prices rise per procedure and how many procedures Americans get this year -- may be the single biggest variable in setting prices for 2015, experts said.

And the trend seems to be up. After several years of relatively tame increases that many tie to a sluggish economy, analysts saw medical spending accelerate late last year.

Even so, the forces affecting 2015 premiums may not drive up Obamacare prices as much as some are forecasting. Finding that insurers have gotten discounts from select hospitals and doctors, the Congressional Budget Office recently lowered its estimate for the cost of premiums and taxpayer subsidies under the health law.

"I'm not expecting double digits like some people have predicted" for 2015 rate increases, said Axene. "I'm expecting mid-to-high single digits" — somewhere from 6 percent to 8.5 percent.

That would still be far higher than growth in the economy or family incomes.

Given the uncertainties that come with a major new social law, Independence Blue Cross believes the picture won't become fully clear until much later.

"We always viewed this as a three-year plan," said Lobley. "We always thought there would be a lot of volatility in years one and two. We really thought 2016 would [bring] market stability in the individual market."

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Fri, Apr 25 2014

Latest Health Reform News

Loading …
URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices