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The Washington Post (11/18) reports that Americans who bought the lowest-priced silver plans “sold through HealthCare.gov will face premium increases averaging 15 percent next year unless they switch to a different health plan, according to a new analysis.” The Kaiser Family Foundation analysis shows that premiums are rising for nearly all of these plans in 2016. In nearly three-fourths of counties where consumers can buy coverage on the Federal exchange, “the plan that was the lowest-price option for 2015 will no longer have the least expensive premium next year.” According to the Post, the findings “reinforce a message that the Obama administration has been spreading since the Nov. 1 start of the third year’s enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act: Consumers risk insurance-premium sticker shock unless they are willing to switch to a different plan.”
The AP (11/18, Alonso-Zaldivar) reports that Cynthia Cox, lead author of the study, said, “In many cases, people could save money on their premiums by switching to a new lowest cost silver plan.” CMS spokesman Aaron Albright “didn’t quarrel” with the findings. “Our message to returning marketplace customers is simple,” he said, “Shopping may save you money.”