Small group health insurance premium rates could jump by the double digits in 2015 as carriers factor in new costs related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But if such increases do occur, they are likely to be offset in 2016.

That is the tentative conclusion of research by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The work was designed to try to get an early fix on what sort of increases small employers could anticipate in the unfolding era of PPACA.

To better gauge how small group carriers might proceed with premium increases, RWJF used the look-back method: Researchers crunched premium adjustment data back to 2000 to see if a helpful trend might be identified.

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