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Should you brace yourself for heath premium rate shock? Report says no.

Sticker-shock

Will insurance premiums go through the roof with the Affordable Care Act? A Rand Corp. study says no.The nonprofit research group looked at healthcare premiums for employees in small businesses, and found:

The ACA’s effect on rates will likely be small. By 2016, workers at small companies (fewer than 100 employees) will likely pay 6 percent less for premiums than they would without the ACA. If correct, this scenario will touch many lives, since bout 60 percent of Americans under 65 get health insurance from their employers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The report doesn’t forecast the trend for large corporations, but a Kaiser survey found their premiums rose 80 percent from 2003 forward, and then, only 5 percent in 2012-13.

For individuals who buy their health plans through the exchanges, Rand predicts most will see their rates drop because of subsidies for low- and middle-incomes.

Rand also forecast that the number of people buying individual plans under the ACA will more than double in 2016.  

The study predicts that in states like Florida that don't expand Medicaid, rates in the individual health insurance market will increase by 8 to 10 percent. Read more.

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