Watch for Health Insurance Premium Increases

Reinstating the Health Insurance Act and repealing the individual mandate to purchase insurance could both contribute to a rise in premiums. Two new federal regulations will most likely affect the cost of health insurance premiums you pay in the coming years. One regulation, the Individual Mandate, has been repealed; the other, the Health Insurance Tax, has been reinstated. Individual Mandate When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, it required all individuals to have certain minimum essential health benefit coverages or pay a penalty.

That penalty in 2017 was $695 or 2.5% of household income, whichever was higher. In December 2017, the House and Senate passed a tax reform bill that also repealed the Individual Mandate. The repeal will not take effect until 2019, so most Americans are still required to have health care coverage or pay a penalty. This does not mean that the ACA, or Obamacare as it is commonly known, has been repealed. The Marketplace Exchanges are still open, and low-income Americans (making between 100 to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level) can still receive subsidies to help pay costs.

If you receive health care coverage from your employer or through Medicare, Medicaid or military health services, you will still receive coverage and you probably won’t notice any changes in your premiums. Health insurance experts are more concerned about premiums for individuals who earn about $48,000 or more annually and get their coverage through the federal Marketplace. Many insurers are leaving the Marketplaces because they are losing money, despite the subsidies paid on behalf of low income individuals. Fewer choices could mean higher premiums and no subsidies.

Full Newsletter