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