Study: Health law will raise claim costs in Wash.

Study estimates federal health care law will increase medical claims costs in Washington

Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- A study by the Society of Actuaries estimates that the new federal health care law will raise medical claims costs in Washington state by an average of 13.7 percent per person.

Medical claims costs are the main driver of health insurance premiums. The study estimates that President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act will raise claims costs nationally by an average of 32 percent per person in the individual health insurance market by 2017. That's partly due to sicker people joining the pool.

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.

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