The proposed price hikes that HealthPocket studied come as insurers, for the first time, have a fuller understanding about how health benefits are being used by Obamacare customers. That usage data are being factored into their price proposals as they seek to balance their desire for enrollment against the costs of insuring their customers.
Before 2014, when the first Obamacare prices were set, insurers had no such data about how benefits would be used, and there was pressure to keep prices attractive to lure customers to the new government-run exchanges.
When insurers proposed prices for 2015, there was very little, if any, helpful data because their recommended prices had to be submitted just months after most people had enrolled for 2014. There was also a 25 percent increase in the number of insurers in the Obamacare market in 2015, which helped keep prices competitive. For 2016, there isn't a similar large influx.
"This is really the first time that America's really seeing true Affordable Care Act rates," Coleman said.
CNBC last week revealed how one big insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, was asking for average rate hikes of nearly 20 percent for its Obamacare-compliant plans. In its rate filing, BCBS cited the fact that it had suffered a loss of as much as $400 million from covering customers in those plans.
Not all insurers are proposing rate hikes that steep. But HealthPocket's analysis reveals that double-digit proposed increases are more the norm in many population-heavy areas of the country than not.
The analysis found that a hypothetical 40-year-old nonsmoker enrolled in an Obamacare silver plan would be looking at an average proposed rate of $389.49 per month next year, compared to the average $341 she pays now, HealthPocket found.
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Silver plans are, by far, the most popular type purchased on government-run exchanges such as HealthCare.gov, with 67 percent of all customers enrolled in such plans.
In silver plans, insurers pay 70 percent of the covered medical benefits of their customers, with enrollees paying the balance in the form of out-of-pocket costs such as copayments and deductibles.