Premiums in popular Obamacare plan to jump 34 percent, independent study finds

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2016 file photo, the HealthCare.gov 2017 web site home page is seen on a laptop in Washington. Add Medicaid expansion to the list of “Obamacare” provisions that Americans want to keep. That’s the conclusion of a new poll, which finds that 8 in 10 U.S. adults say lawmakers should preserve federal funding that has allowed states to add coverage for some 11 million low-income people. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

An analysis of newly released government data finds that premiums for the most popular health plans under the Affordable Care Act are going up by an average 34 percent next year.

The independent analysis by the consulting firm Avalere Health finds that the Trump administration’s actions are contributing to the price hikes, adding instability to the underlying problems of the health law’s marketplaces.

The 34 percent average increase is for silver plans, the mid-range plan under the ACA. Premiums are also going up by double digits for bronze, gold, and platinum plans, which have different levels of coverage. Avalere’s findings come as the Trump administration announced the start of online “window shopping” for plans and premiums next year.

Experts at Avalere crunched the numbers on a massive computer file of plans and premiums released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Despite repeated failures, some Republicans are still hoping to achieve a major overhaul of the health care system. But congressional budget analysts say a bipartisan health care bill would save the government money and it isn’t likely to have much impact — either way — on the number of people with coverage.

On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office issued its analysis of legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. The bill’s main goal is to stabilize insurance markets by restoring payments to insurers for copays and deductibles abruptly terminated by President Trump.

It also would allow for broader availability of low-premium plans.

The CBO analysis found that the bill would reduce government deficits by $3.8 billion from 2018-2027, and would “not substantially change” the number of people with coverage.

Earlier Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare would have made millions uninsured.