Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 26, 2013

Study: Health overhaul to raise claims cost 32 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's leading group of financial risk analysts says medical claims costs — the biggest driver of insurance premiums — will jump an average 32 percent for individual policies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The report from the Society of Actuaries could become another headache for the administration at a time when many people remain skeptical of the law.

While a few states would see claims costs go down, the overwhelming majority would see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets.

By 2017 the estimated increase is about 80 percent for Ohio, 62 percent for California and more than 20 percent for Florida.

The Obama administration says the report doesn't take into account subsidies and other measures in the law to offset cost increases.

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