Mar 3, 2017

Price hits 25% Obamacare rate hike — but that wasn't for everyone

Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price put out a video last night making the Trump administration's case for replacing Obamacare — but if you watch it and say, "I didn't know my premiums went up that much," that's because they didn't.

Price says the average health insurance premium — "the price that you have to pay to buy a health insurance policy" — went up by an average of 25 percent last year. That's true of the Obamacare marketplaces, which had all the scary rate hikes in the last enrollment season. But it's not true for the health insurance premiums most of us pay. Most of us are in employer health plans, where premiums rose by 3 percent last year — a "significant slowdown over the past 15 years," according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Why it matters: It's all about what Price's audience hears in that video. If the public believes their own health insurance premiums are rising as fast as Obamacare's, they'll get a distorted picture of what's actually happening in the broader health care marketplace, rather than the "honest and open discussion" Price promised. We've reached out to give Price's office a chance to comment, and we'll let you know if they do.

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