MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance released data Tuesday morning showing the cost of health insurance in the Madison area will be as much as 125 percent higher in the federal insurance exchange set up under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.
The OCI analysis compares the cost increases for a $2,000 deductible that includes drug coverage in the individual insurance market, examining plans for a 21-year-old, a 40-year-old, and a 63-year-old. The rates were examined separately for Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison, Appleton, Wausau, Kenosha, and LaCrosse.
In Madison, the cost would increase by 125 percent for a 21 year-old, 73 percent for a 40 year-old and 70 percent for a 63 year-old.
Those increases are far higher than in any other city. The next highest increases would be seen in Milwaukee, where the cost will increase by 78 percent for a 21 year-old, by 41 percent for a 40 year-old and by 45 percent for a 63 year-old.
Kenosha would see the lowest increase in costs. The price would increase by 38 percent there for a 21 year-old, by 15 percent for a 40 year-old and by 10 percent for a 63 year-old.
"It appears premiums will increase for most consumers," said Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel. "And, while there is no question that some consumers will have subsidies and may not pay these higher rates, someone will pay for the increased premiums whether it is the consumer or the federal government."
The OCI analysis compared the current cost of that type of insurance plan to the rates recently submitted by the insurance companies that will be involved in the federal exchange. But the OCI analysis does not offer any reasons for the differences in cost increases statewide.
At least one group that advocates for health insurance reform is questioning the OCI's findings. Citizen Action of Wisconsin put out its own release saying that the analysis done by OCI is misleading.
CAW says the rates released by OCI do not include tax credits which will be available to make health insurance affordable and therefore do not report the true sticker price of insurance coverage purchased on the new marketplaces.
"It is extremely disappointing that the Walker Administration is trying to deliberately confuse the public about insurance costs at a time when consumers need good information on how to obtain good affordable coverage," said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
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