In it, but not of it. TPM DC
That's right. Obamacare premiums in Connecticut are going down, not up. That news doesn't appear to have earned any attention yet from the Daily Caller. We'll keep an eye out.
Connecticut is yet another reminder that the news on Obamacare premiums is more complicated than some of the media coverage would have you believe. Not only are consumers mostly protected from any actual rate increases by federal subsidies, but the proposed rate increases are routinely subject to approval from state insurance regulators.
"Premium increases for exchange plans have been modest in most places, based on public reports so far," Larry Levitt, vice president at the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, told TPM in an email. "But even the increases we’ve heard about generally represent proposed rates that may not be the last word once state regulators finalize their reviews."
About half of state insurance regulators have historically had the authority to reject some types of premium increases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. On top of that historic authority, Obamacare gives state and federal regulators the ability to demand a justification from an insurer for any proposed rate increase greater than 10 percent.
Those levers ultimately drove down the proposed increase in Connecticut and should warn against taking initial 2015 filings at face value. They are newsworthy because they presumably reflect insurers' experiences with the law in its first year. But they aren't the last word on what will actually happen to the prices being paid by consumers.