Study: Average Premiums for Young Women to Increase 193%

American Action Forum analysis finds huge rate hikes coming

October 23, 2013

Healthy young women will see their premiums rise by an average of almost 200 percent under Obamacare, with increases occurring in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a new study.

Earlier this month, the American Action Forum released an analysis that found the average 30-year-old male nonsmoker would see his premiums rise 260 percent.

Using the same metrics, the organization found that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be just as harsh on women trying to purchase bronze level plans, the cheapest insurance available in the marketplace.

"All 50 states and the District of Columbia saw insurance rate increases, with 42 of those states experiencing triple digit percentage increases in premiums for the lowest-priced coverage," the study said. "Pre-ACA premiums for a 30-year-old nonsmoking woman average $74.49 monthly, while post-ACA premiums average $188.72 per month, a $114.23, or 153 percent, increase."

Overall, states averaged a 193 percent increase in premiums for 30-year-old female nonsmokers.

The American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute led by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, compared premiums across the country in 2013 to rates under the federally and state run exchanges in the heath insurance marketplace.

Similar to their previous study, the organization found that even with subsidies, young women would likely forego health insurance since the penalty for being uninsured is much cheaper than the premiums in the marketplace.

Individuals earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for subsidies under the law, though only women who earn up to 133 percent of the poverty line will have a financial incentive to join the health exchange.

For example, a woman earning $31,597.50 would receive a 23 percent subsidy, totaling $653. However, her yearly premium would still be $2,186, compared to the $218.47 penalty she would incur in 2014 for not having insurance.

"For our hypothetical female subject, any salary above $36,052, or about 314 percent of [the federal poverty line] FPL, would preclude her from receiving premium subsidies," the study said.  "It is at this level that our subject must pay the full amount for a bronze level insurance plan. Without any premium subsidies, our subject is expected to pay $236.58 per month for her coverage."

Young people are considered vital to the success of the Affordable Care Act, with the administration setting a goal of 2.7 million 18 to 35 year olds signing up by 2014.

The American Action Forum finds that unlikely.

"Both young men and young women, faced with exploding premiums, are likely to forego coverage in favor of paying the individual mandate penalty, as the costs of subsidized coverage in some instances are 10 times more than the penalty," the study said.

"These numbers, in concert with the 260 percent average increase in premiums for bronze level coverage for a 30-year-old male nonsmoker, demonstrate just how damaging the ACA’s provisions are to the insurance market," the study concluded.