Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Premiums for the benchmark healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act are set to drop for a second consecutive year in 2020, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Tuesday.
The average premium for the second-lowest cost silver plan for a 27-year-old will drop by 4 percent for the 2020 coverage year in 38 states, compared to a 1 percent decrease from 2018 to 2019, according to a CMS report.
Six states, including Delaware, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah, will see double-digit declines while Indiana, Louisiana and New Jersey will have double-digit increases in 2020.
The Trump administration approved requests by 12 states to create reinsurance programs that protect carriers from high-cost patients, which it credited for contributing to the decline in premiums in Delaware, North Dakota and Montana.
The CMS also reported that 20 more issuers will participate in the 2020 healthcare market place, bringing the total up to 175.
Despite the declining premiums, administration officials cited data that 2.5 million people who didn't earn federal premium tax credits left the individual market from 2016 to 2018.
The open enrollment period for the 2020 Health Insurance Exchange begins Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1.