New CBO figures show some premiums would go up

Some health insurance premiums would rise by as much as 13 percent if a Senate health care reform bill is enacted into law, the Congressional Budget Office reports Monday.

In a letter responding to a query by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) the CBO found that people who purchase insurance in 2016 outside of group plans would be paying about $5,800 for single policies and $15,200 for family policies compared with $5,500 for single policies and $13,100 for family policies under current law.

Of those who would be subjected to higher premiums, 57 percent would receive government subsidies called for in the Senate bill, which would actually lower their premiums substantially.

But the remaining 43 percent would be stuck paying more for insurance.

The CBO analyzed the impact of the Senate bill on group policies as well and found there would be little to no difference in the price of insurance premiums.

It also determined that 19 percent of insurance policy holders would be subjected to a proposed excise tax on luxury plans, and that the tax would be passed on to consumers. But according to CBO, most people would end up dropping the high-end coverage for cheaper policies not subject to the tax.

And the CBO found that all premiums would increase slighly thanks to proposed fees on the insurance companies and manufacturers of medical devices.

“Both of those fees would be largely passed throughto consumers in the form of higher premiums for private coverage,” the CBO letter says.

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