December 03, 2010
A post on the White House blog highlights a new report from the Commonwealth Fund which demonstrates how the Affordable Care Act will help drive down premiums and save money for Americans across the country. The report also found that premiums and deductibles in states were skyrocketing. According to the issue brief:
“[P]remiums for businesses and their employees increased 41 percent across states from 2003 to 2009, while per-person deductibles jumped 77 percent in large as well as small firms.”
Without action, the situation only would have gotten worse. The Commonwealth Fund researchers found that if the trends continued, the "average premium for family coverage will rise 79 percent by 2020, to more than $23,000."
Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act will help control premium cost growth, make our health care system more transparent, and make care more affordable and accessible. Here's more on the new law from the White House blog:
- Insurance companies will be required to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care instead of overhead, salaries or administrative expenses, in 2011. If they fail to do so, they will be required to provide a rebate to consumers.
- Insurance companies must publicly justify any unreasonable premium increases in 2011 and post them on their websites.
- The law includes $250 million to help states improve oversight of proposed private health insurance premium increases and take action against insurers seeking unreasonable rate hikes. $46 million has already been distributed to 45 states and the District of Columbia.
- Families with low and moderate incomes will have new, affordable coverage options.
- Americans will have access to new competitive marketplaces -- health insurance Exchanges – that will provide affordable private insurance to individuals and small businesses beginning in 2014.
- Doctors and hospitals will be incentivized to better coordinate treatments and improve the quality of care for patients.
The Commonwealth Fund looks at these and other provisions in the law that could save money for American families. The report notes:
“If premium growth were to slow to 1 percentage point below the projected national growth rate, the cost of family coverage would drop an average of $995 annually by 2015. Annual savings for families and employ¬ers would increase to $2,323 by 2020…Even greater amounts could be saved if the annual premium growth rates were to slow by 1.5 percentage points. An average of $1,475 could be saved annually on family coverage by 2015. The savings would more than double to $3,403 annually by 2020.”