Thursday, February 25

What the CBO Really Said about Health Care Costs

There's a ton of argument going back and forth today about what the CBO says about the cost of the Senate Health Care proposal on insurance premiums. FOX News has particularly jumped all over this, but the facts are the following:

Read the full CBO report here.

Differences in Average Premiums Relative to Current Law

Due to:
IndivididualSmall GroupLarge Group
Difference in Amount of Insurance Coverage+27 to +300 to +3Negligible
Difference in Price of a Given Amount of Insurance

Coverage for a Given Group of Enrollees
-7 to -10-1 to -4 Negligible
Difference in Types of People with Insurance Coverage-7 to -10-1 to +20 to -3
Total Difference Before Accounting for Subsidies+10 to +13+1 to -20 to -3
Effect of Subsidies in Nongroup and Small Group Markets

Share of People Receiving Subsidiesd
57 12n.a.
For People Receiving Subsidies, Difference in Average

Premiums Paid After Accounting for Subsidies
-56 to -59-8 to -11n.a.
    


The coverage in the individual market is increased by 27 to 30% largely for people who aren't insured at all or have been blocked out by pre-existing conditions, the average costs are reduced by 7 to 10% in those various groups - and the combined difference is up 10 to 13% from what they're paying now (which for some people is Nothing) only if you Don't Include the Subsidies that are provided for in the bill. Once you include the subsidies the Savings jumps to 56%-59%.

They even put it in plain english.
Average premiums per policy in the nongroup market in 2016 would be roughly $5,800 for single policies and $15,200 for family policies under the proposal, compared with roughly $5,500 for single policies and $13,100 for family policies under current law.

Those figures indicate what enrollees would pay, on average, not accounting for the new federal subsidies. The majority of nongroup enrollees (about 57 percent) would receive subsidies via the new insurance exchanges, and those subsidies, on average, would cover nearly two-thirds of the total premium, CBO and JCT The weighted average of the differences in those amounts equals the change of 10 percent to 13 percent in the average premium per person summarized above, but the percentage increase in the average premium per policy for family policies is larger and that for single policies is smaller because the average number of people covered per family policy is estimated to increase under the proposal. The effects on the premiums paid by some individuals and families could vary significantly from the average effects on premiums.

Average premiums per policy in the nongroup market in 2016 would be roughly $5,800 for single policies and $15,200 for family policies under the proposal, compared with roughly $5,500 for single policies and $13,100 for family policies under current law.4
Those figures indicate what enrollees would pay, on average, not accounting for the new federal subsidies. The majority of nongroup enrollees (about 57 percent) would receive subsidies via the new insurance exchanges, and those subsidies, on average, would cover nearly two-thirds of the total premium, CBO and JCT The weighted average of the differences in those amounts equals the change of 10 percent to 13 percent in the average premium per person summarized above, but the percentage increase in the average premium per policy for family policies is larger and that for single policies is smaller because the average number of people covered per family policy is estimated to increase under the proposal. The effects on the premiums paid by some individuals and families could vary significantly from the average effects on premiums.


Fox and the Republicans are cherry-picking the ONE NUMBER in the entire report that shows an increase without putting it into any real context.

Vyan

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