CBO Predicts Significant Premium Spikes for Obamacare Customers

Obamacare exchange customers are about to see spikes in their premiums, the Congressional Budget Office predicted Monday, saying insurers that offer plans are facing twin pressures from the government and the marketplace that will mean hikes of more than 8 percent a year through 2018.

Now in the second year of full operation, the exchanges are critical to the success of the law. The government is using tax subsidies to attract more customers to help offset costs for the rest of the system.

Nearly 11.7 million Americans bought plans on the exchange in the second enrollment period, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced Monday afternoon, hours after the CBO’s analysis was released.

The CBO said premiums for the key “benchmark” exchange plans will rise an average of 8.5 percent per year from 2016 to 2018, faster than the rest of the health care market.

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