CMS Report Projects Increases in Out-of-Pocket Spending Under Republican Health-Care Bill

According to a new report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary, deductibles and co-pays would increase an average of 61 percent by 2026 under the Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act (AHCA). The report cited specific provisions of AHCA that contribute to these increases: the repeal of Medicaid expansion, the elimination of penalties to the and employers not offering insurance, and state waivers for current-law requirements.

Estimates show that if the current plan went into effect this year, federal expenditures would decrease by $328 billion by 2026 (primarily because of lower Medicaid spending), and the number of uninsured would grow by more than 13 million (mainly because of  the repeal of the individual mandate and declines in eligibility for Medicaid).

While the costs of average gross premiums on the individual insurance market are estimated to drop by 13 percent (from $801 to $695 per year), the average net premiums (after accounting for federal and state subsidies) would be roughly 5 percent higher than under current law (from $360 to $380 per month).

However, the report cautions that AHCA’s actual impact on future health-care spending and individual and employer decisions is extremely uncertain.

Sources: Associated Press, June 15, 2017; Office of the Actuary Report, June 13, 2017.

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