Earlier this week, Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s Obamacare marketplace, announced premium hikes for next year.  It was a joyous occasion – as individual health insurance premiums will increase by an average of “only” 5.6% next year.

While a 5.6% price hike may seem like a gift compared to a string of catastrophic, double digit premium increases in Colorado, keep in mind that increase is greater than twice the rate of inflation.

But this 5.6% increase is only applied to a select group of people on the Obamacare Exchange – those who work hard and earn an average income, but do not work at companies that provide health insurance: consultants, freelancers, Uber drivers, and the small business owners striking out on their own trying to create jobs and viable companies.  It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially combined with the threat of various tax increase measures on ballots all across the state.

Thanks to those middle class families paying what is the equivalent of a monthly mortgage payment for insurance they rarely use because of the massive deductible, those eligible for credits could be paying just $50 in monthly premiums, while two thirds of those who qualify for assistance can obtain one of the bronze plans for a net cost of $0 per month.  Lucky them – the people on subsidies may actually see their premiums drop.