Affordable Care Act marketplace premiums dip for first time

The average premium for a benchmark health care plan on the federal insurance marketplace will decrease by 1.5 percent for 2019, the Trump administration announced Thursday.

The federal exchange covers people in Missouri and 38 other states.

That decrease in average prices is the first since the Affordable Care Act marketplace opened in 2014. It follows two consecutive years of double-digit increases.

The Trump administration claimed credit for the price decrease, but health policy experts say it’s a response to health insurers’ big profits after premium increases for 2018.

The federal analysis focused on the price of a particular plan, the second-lowest silver plan, for a 27-year-old nonsmoker. That means it offers just one snapshot, Michigan-based health policy blogger Charles Gaba said, noting that premiums for 2019 will still be 30 percent higher than they were in 2017.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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