Obamacare Premiums for Most Popular Plans Will Spike 10 Percent

Premiums on the most popular Obamacare exchange plans will increase by an average of 10 percent in 2015, according to an analysis released Thursday that underscores the importance of shopping around in the law’s second year.

Avalere Health, a Washington-based consultancy, said 28 percent of all exchange enrollees selected the lowest-cost silver plan available.

They will be re-enrolled in the plan for the coming year if they do not select a new one by Dec. 15, and researchers say consumers can find cheaper options if they look for one.

“This is a competitive market dynamic and many plans that priced attractively last year are playing catch up for 2015,” Avalere CEO Dan Mendelson said. “Consumers who care about costs need to shop.”

Avalere also warned that the benchmark plan by which subsidies are calculated – the second-lowest-cost silver plan – could shift by 2014 to 2015. If last year’s benchmark is no longer the standard in 2015, a person’s with a subsidized plan may see their costs go up.

Overall, plans in the silver tier were the most popular on the Obamacare exchanges in 2014. Sixty-five percent of enrollees selected a silver plan, and 43 of them select the lowest-cost one available to them.

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