It varies by state. In California, a 55-year-old with $25,000 in income could pay on average as much as $8,598 more a year than today. That same consumer could have to pay $5,920 more in Louisiana, $6,670 more in Iowa, $6,975 more in Colorado and $7,602 more in Maine. Alaskans face the biggest increase: up to $18,533 more.
That’s according to an analysis by the AARP Public Policy Institute, which compares premiums governed by current law with premiums calculated under the House bill to replace the Affordable Care Act if it became law today.
“The bill affects real people, and we wanted to make sure that everybody understood how their premiums would be affected by the bill,” says Lina Walker, the institute’s vice president of health security. “For most of the states, residents will see significant increases if they are 50 or older.”
The House bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), includes two changes to current law that would affect annual premiums. First, it would increase the amount insurers can charge older consumers. Right now, insurers in most states can’t charge older adults more than three times the amount that younger people pay. But the House would raise that cap to five times what younger people pay. And states could waive that cap and let insurers charge even more, leaving older Americans vulnerable to skyrocketing premiums.
The analysis also takes into account another change that would hurt older consumers: The House bill would lower the amount of individual tax credits that help low- to moderate-income people buy insurance on state-sponsored health care exchanges.
More than 3 million older consumers rely on tax credits to buy coverage on the health care exchanges. Within this group, here’s how much more, on average, a 55-year-old with an income of $25,000 could pay in annual premiums in each state: