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Cost of health insurance on rise in W.Va.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A recent study from Avalere Health suggests West Virginians with individual and family health care plans will see their rates increase for 2015 by an average of 9 percent.

But the big-picture impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on residents of the Mountain State continues to be a mixed bag, experts said.
“Whether or not this is a good thing depends all on who you ask,” said Joseph Deacon, co-owner of Deacon & Deacon Insurance Agency in Charleston and the immediate past president of the West Virginia Association of Health Underwriters. “It’s going to be all over the board. Some people are thrilled with this; some people aren’t.”

Deacon said the changes to health insurance brought by the ACA have been positive for some of his clients and more costly for others.
Health insurance premiums have seen a sharp rise under the ACA, but what individuals and families are actually paying depends greatly on what kind of federal subsidy they receive, Deacon said.

“Between 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 (when the ACA took effect), on average the premiums went up 35 percent,” Deacon said. “But a lot of people don’t see that kind of increase, because they have the subsidy, which obscures that cost.

“For a lot of people, the net effect is better…

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