Republican opposition notwithstanding, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is working almost exactly as planned.

Nationwide, average premiums for marketplace plans held steady from 2014 to 2015, and deductibles on average increased just one percent. In some states, premiums decreased. Meanwhile, carrier participation is up all across the board in 2015 compared to 2014, and the premium for the carefully watched benchmark plan (second lowest-cost silver plan) didn't budge from year to year.

That's the word from research commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund and conducted by a team from the University of Chicago. The report called the stability of the plans "unprecedented when compared with historic trends in both the individual insurance market and employer-based health insurance."

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.