ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, facing massive losses for its ObamaCare plans, has requested a 58% premium hike for 603,000 customers.

The company is pricing in the claims experience of customers that’s been far higher than expected after suffering a $770 million loss on its exchange plans in 2015, equal to 26% of premiums.

Overall, individual market insurers requested a 35% ObamaCare premium hike for about 1.3 million customers, calculated ACASignups.net, based on the full range of insurer filings available.

BCBS of Texas also is seeking an 18% increase for 353,000 members who buy plans via the small group market that caters to businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

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The costs of providing health care to an average American family surpassed $25,000 for the first time in 2016 — even as the rate of health cost increases slowed to a record low, a new analysis revealed Tuesday.

The $25,826 in health-care costs for a typical family of four covered by a employer-sponsored “preferred provider plan” is $1,155 higher than last year, and triple what it cost to provide health care for the same family in 2001, the first year that Milliman Medical Index analysis was done.

And it’s the 11th consecutive year that the total dollar increase in the average family’s health-care costs exceeded $1,110, actuarial services firm Milliman noted as it released the index.

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ObamaCare premium increases will be higher than last year, according to a new analysis of early data.

 The analysis from the consulting firm Avalere Health finds that proposed ObamaCare premiums for silver-level plans are increasing an average of 16 percent in nine states that so far have complete data.The proposed increases for silver plans, the most popular, vary widely, from a 44 percent average increase in Vermont to a 5 percent increase in Washington state.

The increases appear to be higher than last year on average. An Avalere analysis at a similar point in the process last year found an average increase of about 6 percent.

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Two studies released Tuesday show wide geographic variation in Obamacare price increases seen this year, and in those proposed for next year. Although there are plenty of double-digit prices being proposed, that isn’t the case everywhere. The studies underscore that the amount people pay for their Obamacare plans is often strongly related to where they live. They also show how much lower the price increases can be for a customer who switches plans within the same Obamacare “tier.” And one of the studies, by the Avalere Health consultancy, also backs the widespread belief that prices for 2017 likely will rise faster than they did this year.

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As candidates in both parties focus on the general election campaign, some Republicans wonder if large premium increases related to the Affordable Care Act could be an “October surprise” that helps propel them to victory in November. The causes of the approaching premium increases vary, but some are rooted in a 2013 Obama administration proposal.

In reporting on premium increases by one Iowa insurer, the Des Moines Register noted that individuals who bought new plans that complied with Affordable Care Act regulations could face premium increases of 38% to 43% next year.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Political solutions from years past may materialize in the form of rate hikes this fall–and could generate a distinct reaction among voters on Election Day.

Hillary Clinton’s “Medicare for More” plan certainly would cover more people — but it could also raise health-care costs for some current Obamacare customers if they aren’t careful.

Nearly 13 million Americans age 50 to 64 who lack insurance or buy private health plans would be eligible to buy into an expanded Medicare program that the Democratic presidential contender has proposed, according to an analysis released Thursday.

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Most Americans enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act are happy with their coverage. But consumers are increasingly concerned about their monthly premiums and deductibles, reflecting rising anxiety among all Americans about their medical and insurance bills, a new national survey found.

Nearly 6 in 10 working-age Americans who have a health plan through one of the marketplaces created by the law said they are satisfied with their monthly premiums, and just over half say they are satisfied with their deductibles.

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Health insurance is about to bear a higher price tag. Experts at the Kaiser Family Foundation just warned that premiums are likely to jump in 2017 — after increasing an average of more than 12 percent this year.

High-deductible health plans paired with tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts (HSA) have emerged as a source of a lower-cost refuge for patients, who accept the high deductible in exchange for lower premiums.

The Obama administration is trying to restrict access to HSAs. That’s a mistake. HSAs empower consumers to take control of their health care and reduce overall health spending in the process. Our leaders should be working to expand access to them, not narrow it.

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A plan the Clinton campaign unveiled in September would create a refundable tax credit worth as much as $2,500 per individual and $5,000 per family to cover out-of-pocket health-care expenses. Knowing there is a federal credit might give employees incentive to incur additional expenses to exceed the subsidy threshold. That would mean a credit aimed at mitigating the effects of rising health costs for some families could end up exacerbating the problem on a broader scale.
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Obamacare has caused health insurance premiums to skyrocket. It has caused millions of Americans who liked their health plans to lose their health plans. It has caused doctor and hospital networks to narrow. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that the Obamacare exchanges in Alabama and Alaska will each have one—that’s right, one—insurer offering plans. We’re moving toward “single insurer” health care.

In short, Obamacare is wrecking the private health insurance market.

The Congressional Budget Office says that the Obamacare subsidies for private insurance will cost $43 billion this year alone. That’s an average of $5,375 per person for those who have been added to the private insurance rolls—or $21,500 per family of four. Meanwhile, the typical 36-year-old (or younger) who makes $36,000 a year (or more) gets $0 under Obamacare.

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