But this trend will come to a sudden end in 2017. That year, health insurance companies will lose their ability to artificially depress health care costs using taxpayer money. (Two ACA provisions, both of which expire in 2017, currently let insurers tap federal taxpayer funds for various reasons.)
This will send shock waves through the health care world.
We estimate that average annual costs for the cheapest individual plans—the “bronze” plans—may increase by 96 percent, from roughly $2,100 to nearly $4,200. Bronze family plans prices, meanwhile, may increase by nearly 50 percent. The average plan in this category could come close to $13,000 a year in total premiums. Almost every plan will see a price increase of some kind.
Consumers will learn these unpleasant truths in the fall of 2016 when they attempt to extend their policies.