(Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young)
Changes to health insurance premiums are expected to vary widely by state and age as a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," according to a Manhattan Institute for Policy Research analysis. On average, rates will increase 24 percent in the 13 states for which data is available, but rates will decrease in some states while rising dramatically in others.
The analysis is preliminary and will be updated as more state's data become available. Of the 13 for which data is available, nine will have rate increases and four will have rate decreases.
New Mexico is, so far, expected to have the largest rate increase at a whopping 130 percent. Maine residents could enjoy the largest rate decrease with a 71 percent drop.
The other four states that will see rate increases are Vermont (97 percent), South Dakota (83 percent) and Connecticut (59 percent). The other three states that will see rate decreases are Colorado (34 percent), Ohio (30 percent) and New York (27 percent).
Rate changes can also vary greatly by age in some states. For instance, in California, a 27-year-old is expected to see a 23 percent increase, a 40-year-old is expected to see a 14 percent increase, and a 64-year-old is expected to see a five percent decrease.
In some states, the changes could also vary slightly by gender. In New Mexico, for instance, a 27-year-old male will likely see his premium rise 146 percent while a 27-year-old female would only have to pay 132 percent more.
Forbes has an interactive map where you can see the expected changes in your state, and view age and gender comparisons. The map will be updated and all the data should be available by the end of the month, before the ACA begins on Oct. 1. The map will also be updated to include a feature to help people decide whether it will be cost effective to get insurance through the health insurance exchanges set up by the ACA.
In an article for Forbes, Avik Roy, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, noted that 27-year-old men are expected to have the highest average premium increase at 43 percent. Older Americans are also expected to be more heavily hit. For instance, 64-year-old women will see an average rate increase of 27 percent, which is much higher than the 10 percent average rate increase for 40-year-old women.
The biggest surprises, Roy added, were Vermont and Ohio. He expected Vermont rates to decrease and Ohio rates to increase, but the opposite will occur – Vermonters will pay more and Ohioans will pay less. The findings for Ohio were so surprising that Manhattan Institute researchers ran the numbers several times to make sure there was no mistake.