Actuaries Say Health Care Costs Will Remain High

June 21, 2012 ( – No matter what the ruling is by the U.S. Supreme Court about health care reform, Society of Actuaries (SOA) members surveyed say health insurance costs will continue to increase.

The survey of 160 actuaries, conducted June 13, found approximately two-thirds of respondents expect annual costs for currently insurable individuals to increase at least 10%, and costs for large group employers to increase at least 5%, even if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is upheld in its entirety. If the individual mandate is struck down, but all other provisions remain, 76% of actuaries surveyed expect annual health costs for currently insurable patients to increase more than 10%. Only three percent of respondents expect costs to go down if the individual mandate is thrown out and all other provisions remain.   

In addition, 60% of survey respondents believe exchanges will not reduce individual and small group insurance costs compared to pre-exchange private-market options.   

The survey found eight in 10 actuaries (83%) expect the ACA to reduce the number of uninsured by at least 10 million (from approximately 50 million currently uninsured). More than one-third (37%) of respondents believe the ACA will reduce the number of uninsured by up to 30 million, potentially leaving 20 million still uninsured.   

Complete survey results are at