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Health Reform’s Impact on People that Buy Their Own Insurance

December 4th, 2009 – According to the Wall Street Journal, the Congressional Budget Office’s study of how the Democrat’s Senate bill will affect insurance costs found that premiums in the individual market will rise by 10% to 13% more than if Congress did nothing.

Family policies under the status quo are projected to cost $13,100 on average, but under the Senate bill will jump to $15,200.

The CBO’s study is certainly on the optimistic side.  Based on its actuarial data, health insurer WellPoint calculated that the current Congressional Health Reform bill would cause some premiums to triple in the individual market.

A 2008 paper by the peer-reviewed Forum for Health Economics and Policy found that state community rating laws raise premiums in the individual market by 20.9% to 33.1% for families and 10.2% to 17.1% for singles.

While many middle and upper middle class Americans will be hit with substantial rate increases, 57% of the people who buy insurance through the bill’s new “exchanges” will qualify for subsidies that cover as much as two thirds of the total premium.

The Congressional Budget Office says it expects employer-sponsored insurance costs to remain roughly in line with the status quo.

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