Study: Health law will raise claim costs in Oregon, Washington


A study by financial risk analysts estimates that medical claims costs for people who buy their own health insurance will rise by 14 percent in Oregon under the new federal health overhaul.

Medical claims costs are the biggest driver of health insurance premiums. The Society of Actuaries estimates that costs will rise nationally by an average of 32 percent under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

The study says much of the higher claims costs stems from an expectation that sicker people will join the individual insurance pool.


For Washington the study by the Society of Actuaries estimates that the new federal health care law will raise medical claims costs in the state by an average of 13.7 percent per person.

The study finds wide disparities among states, and it did not make similar estimates for employer plans, the mainstay for workers and their families.

The estimates assume every state will expand its Medicaid program. Gov. Jay Inslee supports expanding Medicaid in Washington state.

The Obama administration says the study ignored the law's cost-relief strategies.

The study did not make similar estimates for employer plans because the primary impact of Obama's law is on people who don't have coverage through their jobs.

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