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Will Rates Rise in 2014 Under the Health Care Act?
The state releases projections, but they don't include subsidies for individuals buying insurance.

Insurance costs in Wisconsin's
individual marketplace will rise between 9 and 125 percent once the federal reform legislation takes effect in 2014, according to projections released by the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance -- though the estimates do not factor in federal subsidies that will be available to individuals within the state-level exchanges going live on Oct. 1.

Analysts used rates from those companies that have already submitted figures for 2014, when major provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect. The legislation is expected to expand coverage by capping out of pocket expenses and greatly limiting the restrictions insurance companies may place on policies based on pre-existing conditions.

"It appears premiums will increase for most consumers," said Commissioner Ted Nickel in a statement. "And while there is no question that some consumers will have subsidies and may not pay these higher rates, someone will pay for the increased premiums, whether it is the consumer or the federal government."

In late 2011, Republican Gov. Scott Walker announced that the state would be standing down its efforts to design a state-level marketplace, meaning Wisconsin's exchange will be accessible through a federal portal, along with those of other states who followed a similar course.

All of the estimates below are based on a hypothetical individual plan with prescription drug coverage and a deductible of $2,000. (The state hasn't released comparisons from within the small group market, another sector the exchanges are intended to serve.)

Source: Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

Percent increase from pre- to post-2014, average per area
 Age   Milwaukee  Eau Claire  Green Bay   Madison   Appleton   Wausau   Kenosha  La Crosse 
21 78.11 68.75 53.73 124.85 54.18 77.44 37.59 88.53
40 40.85 48.35 53.73 73.43 36.75 35.03 15.15 41.58
63 45.48 58.12 22.54 70.04 32.01 26.07 9.72 37.29

(photo via Shutterstock)

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