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Study: Predictions Of Health Care 'Rate Shock' Are Unfounded

A new study from a non-profit research group says predictions of huge premium increases when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in January are unfounded. 

Kansas is one of 10 states the Rand Corporation studied in detail. The study predicts that by 2016, only 6.6 percent of Kansans too young for Medicare will be uninsured. Without the new law, that figure would be more than 14 percent. 

Almost two-thirds of Kansans who will buy individual health insurance through the new exchange will qualify for federal subsidies.  And while their premiums will rise a little more than a thousand dollars annually, on average, they’ll receive federal subsidies averaging $1,800. Actual experience will vary, based on age and tobacco use. 

In general, though, the biggest savings will fall to those who are between 60 and 65 years of age. Linda Sheppard, of the Kansas Insurance Department, says 2014 rates have already been filed. She thinks companies have an incentive to keep rates as low as they can initially to try and win new customers.  

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