Key Obamacare plan premiums will jump 15 percent next year, estimate of uninsured in 2027 rises by 5 million, CBO says

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A medical doctor examines a patient with a stethoscope at a CCI Health and Wellness Services health center in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

The price of closely watched Obamacare plans will rise 15 percent next year, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday in a new report.

The CBO also projects about 5 million more people under the age of 65 will be uninsured in 2027 than it estimated in September, up to a total of 35 million people.

The double-digit premium increase would come during President Donald Trump's third year in office and could add fuel to a heated debate over health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Trump and congressional Republicans tried unsuccessfully to repeal the landmark health law multiple times last year. They managed to repeal the individual mandate, which required most people to have some form of health insurance or pay a tax penalty, as part of the broader tax law it passed in December. The change is slated to go into effect next year.

This coupled with higher premiums will cause 3 million more people than previously forecast to be uninsured next year, CBO estimates. Between 2019 and 2028, it expects the number of uninsured people to increase to 35 million.

After next year's double-digit increase, premiums in the benchmark silver Obamacare plans will continue rising about 7 percent each year between 2019 and 2028, the CBO report said.

This year, the average premium for these plans is about 34 percent higher than it was last year, according to the report. Eliminating cost-sharing reductions from the federal government, a larger percentage of people living in areas with only one insurer in the marketplace and insurers expecting less enforcement of the individual mandate this year primarily caused the increase, the CBO said.

The CBO estimates the federal government will spend $685 billion subsidizing health care for adults under the age of 65 this year. By 2027, about 3 million fewer people than previously projected will receive federal subsidies through Obamacare marketplaces, according to CBO's estimates.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Interview published this week showed the rate of Americans with health insurance didn't improve last year for the first time since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010.

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