Governor Mike Beebe's office issued the following news release explaining the situation:
The Arkansas Insurance Department is projecting that insurance policies sold through the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace will see a net decrease of two percent in premium costs for 2015.
This calculation includes the policies offered through the Arkansas Private Option, which will notice a small decrease in premiums, but will essentially remain flat in comparison to 2014. This is an aggregate projection, meaning that some individual consumers will see a small increase in premiums, and others will see their costs drop more than two percent. Nationwide, insurance costs historically rise by six-to-ten percent annually.
This information is being released in light of incomplete information that was inadvertently posted on an Insurance Department Web site. While not drastically different from actual projections, the posting was still not an accurate representation of the actuarial data.
Final rates will be released once the plans are certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This will happen before open enrollment for 2015 begins on November 15.
The projected cost reduction is also a big boost to private option supporters to show the Medicaid expansion (made possible by the Affordable Care Act) is, in fact, working the way they hoped.
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