- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

President Obama’s move to allow some who would otherwise have lost their health care policies under the Affordable Care Act to keep their coverage may lead to double-digit rate increases in some states next year, Politico reported.

In fall 2013, when millions of Americans received cancellation notices because their coverage didn’t meet Obamacare regulations, the administration moved to allow insurers to keep offering the policies if state governments approved. Two-thirds of states agreed, Politico reported.

However, insurers told Politico that the move could drive up rates in Obamacare exchanges next year because younger policyholders stayed on their existing plans, keeping them out of the exchanges.

Former Health and Human Services official Joel Ario told Politico that the absence of these policyholders in Obamacare exchanges will affect states differently.

“It really is a state-by-state story. The more transitional policies that are not part of the risk pool yet, the more upward pressure there is on premiums,” he said.

While insurers project that the national average rate increase will be 7.5 percent, states including Florida, North Carolina and Iowa could see rates increase by nearly 18 percent, Politico reported.