NPR logo Premiums To Remain Stable for Most Under Health Reform

Premiums To Remain Stable for Most Under Health Reform

Most Americans would not see much change in the cost of their insurance premiums as a result of the health care legislation pending in Congress, according to a widely awaited budget analysis. But millions of people who buy insurance on their own, rather than through work, could see higher costs, a fact that could become fodder for health reform critics.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a study Monday that found the cost of insurance premiums for the nearly 80% of people who receive insurance through work or other group policies would remain stable or slightly fall by 2016, as compared to projections of premium prices under current law.

The majority of the rest of insured Americans who buy so-called "individual insurance" would see an increase between 10 percent to 13 percent, partly because the benefits in their new plans would be richer under the current legislation. With government subsidies proposed under the plan, up to half of them could see as much as 59 percent lower costs than is now the case.

An estimated 16% of Americans have no health coverage today and many would receive insurance under the proposed reform plans.