By Ryan Ekvall | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON — Health insurance premiums on the individual marketplace could rise as much as 88 percent for some Wisconsinites under the Affordable Care Act, , according to an Office of the Commissioner of Insurance comparison of premiums pre- and post-implementation of the new federal health exchanges.
According to the news release, the increase in premium costs for a plan with a $2,000 deductible that includes drug coverage in the individual insurance market ranges from 15 percent for a 40-year-old living in Kenosha to 73 percent for a 40-year-old living in Madison.
The health insurance premium for a 21-year-old living in La Crosse jumps 88 percent, according to OCI.
“(F)rom our analysis, it appears premiums will increase for most consumers,” Commissioner Ted Nickel said in a statement. “And, while there is no question that some consumers will have subsidies and may not pay these higher rates, someone will pay for the increased premiums whether it is the consumer or the federal government.”
And by federal government, Nickel means taxpayer.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that about half of people who buy health insurance on the individual market will be eligible for taxpayer-funded subsidies under Obamacare.
According to that study, the average subsidy would cover 32 percent of the Obamacare premiums on the individual marketplace. That means, according to the OCI comparison, most people would pay more for health insurance on the individual market under Obamacare even after receiving tax credits.
The Kaiser Family Foundation notes 316,000, or 6 percent, of Wisconsinites purchase health insurance through the individual market.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance could not immediately be reached for comment.
The progressive, nonprofit Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a supporter of the federal healthcare overhaul, claims OCI is “misleading the public” on health insurance costs.
Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action, said OCI’s rate comparison does not take into account the quality of plans that were compared or the intrinsic value of banning denial of health insurance to consumers with pre-existing conditions under Obamacare.
Consumers in Wisconsin are expected to be able to shop for insurance under the federal exchanges, beginning Oct. 1.
Contact Ryan Ekvall at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter @Nockian.