When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kicks in next January, insurance customers may be in for a rude awakening, according to recent predictions made by a leading trade association.
America's Health Insurance Plans recently released a statement regarding the PPACA and how it could impact premium prices for consumers.
Some of the biggest potential cost rises could take place for young people because of the changes made to the age ratings.
"Coverage needs to be affordable for individuals and families in order to achieve broad participation in the healthcare system," said Karen Ignagni, AHIP president and CEO, according to the political news website The Hill. "The new restrictions on age rating will result in an overnight increase in health care costs for people in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s."
She added that many of the reforms of the healthcare law could have some unintended consequences, as because of the limits on age rating, young people may determine that it's just too costly for them to obtain coverage, opting instead to pay the fine and go without it.
"When this happens, costs go up for everyone, young and old," she said.
However, some people within the industry believe that these cost hikes are nothing more than scare tactics. According to the Washington Post, Wendell Potter, former head of communications for a leading health insurer, indicates that the rate shock some people are forecasting is the equivalent of the "death panels" critics of the health reform law say will materialize.
Consumer advocacy groups are encouraging lawmakers to delay the implementation of the PPACA law so lofty health insurance price hikes can be avoided.