Survey: U.S. sees sharpest health insurance premium increases in years

The hikes — the largest in the past three years, according to Morgan Stanley’s quarterly reports — are “largely due to changes under the [Affordable Care Act],” analysts concluded. Rates have been growing increasingly fast throughout all of 2013, after a period of drops in 2012.

While insurers were hiking premiums since 2012 by smaller amounts, the lead-up to the Obamacare’s launch has seen the average rate at which premiums are growing fourfold.

The small group market saw a jump from a growth rate of close to 3 percent during Morgan Stanley’s September 2013 survey to just above 6 percent three months later in December — the month before a surge of Obamacare regulations hit insurance companies.