The Affordable Care Act’s authors created these two programs for a specific reason: They would ease the transition from the pre- to the post-ACA health care system. In the post-ACA world, health care is more expensive – a fact borne out by 2014’s average 41 percent spike in base premiums. Reinsurance and risk corridors have largely hidden these price increases from consumers for the past year; they will continue to do so until Jan. 1, 2017.
Premiums will likely skyrocket come that date. The Medical Industry Leadership Institute’s study estimates that once the two subsidies expire, premiums for a cheap bronze plan in North Carolina could increase by a staggering 144 percent for individuals and by 55 percent for families.