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Predictions Vary on Affordable Care Act Costs

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - With tomorrow’s launch of the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange comes wide-ranging predictions on its effects.

The Manhattan Institute, a conservative think-tank, predicts a sudden, sharp rise in insurance rates once the law takes effect. The numbers come from the group’s latest report, co-authored by Yevgeniy Feyman.

“What is likely to happen in the first year is that young people stay out of the market, they choose to pay the penalty because they realize this insurance just isn’t worth it for them,” Feyman explained.

Feyman predicts that nationally, individual market premiums will rise an average of more than 60 percent for women and nearly 100 percent for men.

But Rand Corporation mathematician Carter Price see things much differently. He says prices will vary from state to state but there will be no big increases.

Price points out that most people considered in the Manhattan Institute study already have insurance through employers and won’t be entering the exchange. He says that if young men see higher prices it will be because they will be buying a more comprehensive plan.

“A lot of plans, particularly in the individual market, that people are buying are sort of very bare bones plans in terms of what they cover. So part of the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans are required to have some basic, some essential health benefits,” Price explained.

The Rand Corporation is a non-partisan research organization.

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