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ACA Premiums Going Up, But By Less Than Expected

Insurance companies in Maine that will offer individual health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace next year are proposing premium increases from about 5 to 9 percent. 

Maine-based independent health policy consultant Mitchell Stein says that's better than projections from the Congressional Budget Office, "which estimated that some of the actions of the administration would add at least 10 percent to the rates for this year."

But the executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Ann Woloson, says any increase is bad news. "We're already paying a lot. So the efforts at the federal level to sort of sabotoge the Affordable Care Act are resulting in unnecessary increases for individuals and small businesses, and that's a problem."

Woloson says the Trump administration's elimination of the individual mandate and support of short term plans that offer less coverage are driving the proposed increases.  The elimination of the individual mandate goes into effect in 2019. Stein says the proposed premium increases reflect the potential loss of consumers in the ACA marketplace.

The Maine Bureau of Insurance will hold hearings on the rate filings before making a final ruling.

This story was originally published June 5, 2018 at 6:38 a.m. ET.