Idaho's Obamacare customers will face an average 27 percent premium increase next year because of too many sick customers.
The state's insurance regulator announced the final rates Friday. The announcement comes as many states are grappling with double-digit rate increases for a variety of reasons that include a sicker-than-expected population and questions about whether the federal government will continue to pay insurer subsidies.
Idaho's silver plans, which are the most popular of Obamacare's three plan options, will rise an average 40 percent. The premiums for the lowest tier bronze plans will increase 8 percent, and gold plans 9 percent.
Idaho pegged the increase to higher medical claims for insurers on the individual market, which includes Obamacare's exchanges and is used by people who don't get insurance through work. It showed that claims for 2016 totaled $563 million, but the state's six insurers brought in only $494 million in premiums.
"Large rate increases may be needed when the prior year's premiums is not sufficient to pay for health claims and administrative costs and fees," Idaho's insurance regulator said.
The regulator does not approve the final rates. It can decide if the rate increases are reasonable, though.
Idaho is far from the only state facing double-digit premium increases. Florida's insurance regulator expects rates to increase by nearly 45 percent, and Utah 39 percent, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Major contributors to the rate increases have been risk pools without enough healthy people to offset high claims from sicker customers, uncertainty around whether insurer subsidies will be paid by the federal government and the looming health insurance tax being reinstated next year.