Health Insurance

Oregon Health Care Cost Increases under the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act, will usher in multiple changes for Oregon residents. ValuePenguin compared costs of current health care insurance plans with proposed PPACA health insurance premiums to estimate the impact on Oregon residents.

January 2014 will usher in multiple changes to health insurance plans for Oregon residents from the Patient Protection and Affordable Act Care (PPACA, or ACA). The ValuePenguin analyst team dove through pending health insurance rate tables filed by health insurers with the State of Oregon Insurance Division to get a preview of what premiums residents could expect. We compared the costs of health insurance today to costs expected under the ACA for three sample demographic profiles (27, 40, and 55-year old non-smokers) to give you a sense of how much health insurance costs would increase in Oregon. These costs are the same for men and women, as health insurance premiums are gender neutral in Oregon by law.

Highlights of Proposed Health Insurance Increases under the Affordable Care Act

  • Insured members currently holding very cheap plans will have to upgrade their coverage to substantially more expensive plans. Many of the cheapest insurance policies being sold to individuals today do not offer sufficient coverage to satisfy the essential health benefits outlined in the Affordable Care Act. Existing policyholders will have to choose amongst one of the approved insurance exchange plans for coverage. While the new plans will offer increased benefits and coverage, they will also come at a higher price when compared to the cheapest options available today.
  • The impact of the Affordable Care Act will be most noticeable at the younger end of the spectrum, as young adults bear the brunt of expected increases in costs. Given enhanced PPACA health care coverage requirements, insurance premiums for young adults and senior citizens in Oregon on the cheap end will cost approximately 200% and 110% more, respectively
  • Increases on the higher end of the range of health insurance premiums are not as large, comparatively speaking. Pre-PPACA insurance plans at the higher cost end of the spectrum are less likely to fail the essential health benefits test; that is, current medical benefits coverage for premium plans already share a similar core of the Affordable Care Act's required health benefits. Oregon residents can expect the higher end of health insurance premiums to increase as little as 11% for seniors, to 58% for young adults
  • Senior citizens will experience the least increase in their health insurance premiums, on a comparative basis, with premiums on the high end undergoing the least bump of 11%

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Oregon

AgePre-PPACAPost-PPACA% Increase

27

$46$138201%

40

$73$169131%

55

$140$294110%

Most Expensive Health Insurance Plans in Oregon

Age

Pre-PPACAPost-PPACA% Increase

27

$285$44958%

40

$449$54822%

55

$858$95611%

To give you some context to ValuePenguin's numbers, here are a few systemic health care reform points implemented by the ACA that explain the increased premiums and our comparisons.

PPACA plans have broader benefits coverage. For example, insured members with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage and women's health services are broadened. Prior to the PPACA, most of the cheaper health insurance plans had thin coverage of members' medical needs, which is reflected in cheap plan prices. The cheaper PPACA plans in most cases have greater medical benefits coverage compared to the cheaper pre-PPACA plans. Unfortunately, apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult to make from the available data in rate filings, so the price points are presented below as is for your reference. 

Increases in Health Insurance Costs for 27-Year Old Male or Female in Oregon under the Affordable Care Act

The most recent quotes on online health insurance marketplaces for twenty seven year old men and women range from $46 on the low end to $285 on the high end per month. If the currently submitted rate requests are approved, then young adults looking to buy health insurance can expect their annual expenses to increase from:

  • Low-End of Health Insurance Plans: $552 to $1,660 under the ACA per year
  • High-End of Health Insurance Plans: $3,420 to $5,390 under the ACA each year

As noted above, it is difficult to make a clean comparison on the impact of the ACA on similar benefits. Many existing plans, particularly those on the cheap end, do not offer the essential health benefits that are required. In our analysis, however, we illustrate how the impact of the increased benefit requirements and changes to ratings formulas will impact those looking to get insurance on the cheap.

Larger Health Insurance Premiums for 40-Year Old Men and Women

Residents of Oregon who are 40 years old can also expect increases under the PPACA, though not as great as those that young adults will see. Legacy health insurance quotes for this demographic range from $73 on the low end to $449 on the high end per month. If current submitted rate requests are approved, then middle-aged residents who want to buy health insurance can expect their annual costs to increase from:

  • Low-End of Health Insurance Plans: $876 to $2,024 under the ACA per year
  • High-End of Health Insurance Plans: $5,388 to $6,573 under the ACA each year

Senior Citizen Health Insurance: Minor Increases under the PPACA

Senior citizens will experience the least pain, comparatively and metaphorically speaking, when it comes to health insurance premium changes in Oregon. The latest legacy quotes for this demographic, as represented by 55-year olds, are $140 to $858 per month. If current submitted rate requests are approved, then Oregon elders can expect their annual health insurance expenses to increase from: 

  • Low-End of Health Insurance Plans: $1,680 to $3,532 under the ACA per year
  • High-End of Health Insurance Plans: $10,296 to $11,470 under the ACA each year

Notes:

Unfortunately, apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult to make from the available data in rate filings, so the price points are presented below as is for your reference. We've used as a benchmark of pre-PPACA plans, or "legacy" plans, the rates found on online marketplace eHealthInsurance.com. We've chosen 27 as the youngest illustrative age, since under the PPACA, individuals under the age of 26 can be covered in parents' insurance plans. 40 and 55 are chosen as the midpoint for older adults and senior citizens.

Proposed health insurance rates are sourced from filings for individual / major medical plans with Oregon's Insurance Division. For ValuePenguin's prototype Oregon health insurance comparison tool, which is based on the information available in those filings, please visit; http://www.valuepenguin.com/ppaca/exchanges/or.

Ting Pen

Ting is a ValuePenguin Co-Founder. She previously evaluated corporate mergers and acquisitions as a Financial Analyst at Citigroup.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.