The American Academy of Actuaries is officially trying to lower expectations about just how confident forecasters can be when trying to predict how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will affect health insurance premiums.

The group emphasizes the difficulty of making premium rate predictions, both for individuals and for the population as a whole, in a new brief on the effect of PPACA on health insurance premiums.

PPACA is supposed to create exchanges, or Web-baed health insurance supermarkets; prohibit insurers' from considering health status when issuing coverage; sharply restrict insurers' ability to use most personal health information when setting rates; limit insurers to charging the oldest adult enrollees only three times as much as they charge the youngest adult enrollees; and add many new benefits standards, including bans on annual and lifetime benefits limits for "essential health benefits."

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, a senior reporter at ThinkAdvisor and BenefitsPRO, previously was an associate editor at National Underwriter Life & Health. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached through X at @Think_Allison.