If approved by the
The law: Under the president's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, private insurance can be purchased for 2017 through federal or state-run marketplaces starting
Health insurers participating in federal marketplaces file proposed rates for individual and small group plans with state insurance departments each year. From there, the departments review the filings to make sure that rates are not excessive or inadequate and to ensure that they are not discriminatory, according to
"The goal of this review is to protect consumers by ensuring rates are fair," she said in an email. "However our role is also to maintain market stability by ensuring that companies (see) the market's attractiveness so consumers continue to have options."
Fogarty said last year the department was able to decrease proposed rates by nearly
"The Affordable Care Act is still new, and insurers are still learning this population and adjusting their rates to price these plans accordingly," she said.
Shop around: With four insurers offering plans in Region 7,
"We are stressing that these are proposed increases, and it will be important for individuals to shop around," said Pennsylvania Health Access network director
The plan one has chosen in 2016 may not be the most cost effective in 2017. Kraus also said many people eligible for tax credits would likely see much of the increases offset by the subsidies.
To offset the cost of monthly premiums, the federal government offers income tax subsidies to income-qualifying shoppers of the federal health exchanges.
As officials get ready to tackle the fourth open enrollment of sweeping health care reforms, and with nearly 500,000 Pennsylvanians already covered through the federal marketplace, it's that population that might be the focus of ads and outreach campaigns in upcoming months.
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