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ACA Premiums Set to Jump In Virginia... Again

AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

People who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act are about to see yet another increase to their premiums.

The cost of health insurance is going up more than 13% for those in the individual market who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. That’s not as much as last year’s dramatic increase of 69%. And those at the bottom end of the economic scale can qualify for premium subsidies. But Sabrina Corlette at Georgetown University says this will hurt individuals who make about $50,000 a year or $100,000 for a family of four.

“That would make you ineligible for those subsidies, and so you are bearing the full brunt of those premium increases. And increasingly, people are finding that they are just priced out of decent health insurance.”

Jill Hanken at the Virginia Poverty Law Center says the recent elimination of the penalty for not having insurance is driving the premium increases.

“This could mean that fewer healthy people will enroll, and that makes the risk pool a more expensive risk pool, which also justifies higher rates for the insurance plans.”

The largest premium increases are in Charlottesville, where insurance provider Optima is the only game in town… and they are new to town. So the premium increases spiked as a result of the company lacking a history of claims experience there.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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