Here's how much the price of Obamacare changed this year for every state in the US

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How much you pay for Obamacare could depend on where you live

Prices for the average plan under the Affordable Care Act have been taking off lately, and this year is no different.

Linda J. Blumberg, John Holahan, and Erik Wengle at the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute, decided to find out just how much prices were increasing and why.

First off, the researchers said that using a national aggregate in order to gain an understanding of how and why premium prices are increasing doesn't make much sense due to the variance of the exchanges where the insurance plans are offered.

"We conclude that a national average rate of premium increase is a fairly meaningless statistic since different markets are having very different experiences," said the report.

"The focus of attention should be on understanding the wide variability by identifying the characteristics of markets that have experienced high premiums or high growth in premiums and of markets with lower premiums or lower growth in premiums."

Only five states saw a decrease in premium cost this year, while 12 states had increases of more than 20%, on average. The heavily impacted states are predominately in the Midwest, but almost every region got hit with price jumps.

The variance is startling. The largest increase came from Alaska, which saw premium prices surge 40.2% this year, while on the other end, Indiana's prices decreased by 12.1%.

In all, about 48% of the population lives in areas where prices decreased or increased by less than 5%. 26.3% of the US population lives in areas that had an increase of more than 15%.

obamacare premium mapWin McNamee/Getty Images

The researchers found that there are a variety of reasons for the discrepancy in prices, but the biggest difference-maker was competition.

"However, the most important factors associated with lowest-cost silver plan premiums and premium increases are those defining the contours of competition in the market," the report concluded. "Rating areas with more competitors had significantly lower premiums and lower rates of increase than those that did not."

The paper also found that there was one player that had more of an effect on prices than any other provider.

"Those rating areas with a Medicaid insurer competing in the marketplace also have lower premiums and lower rates of increase than those regions without a Medicaid insurer competing," said Blumberg, Holahan, and Wengle.

This is an issue as insurance companies evaluate the profitability of the state exchanges. With political pushback against expanding Medicaid considerable, private insurers are going to have to carry most of the load and provide competitions.

The nation's largest insurer, United Healthcare, has already dropped out, leaving more (though not significantly more) Americans with one or two choices. If other insurers were to take a similar tact, though unlikely, it could cause an even further increase in prices.

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Here's how much the price of Obamacare changed this year for every state in the US
Nuns, including Sister Maria Kolbe, right, of the Order of St. Francis, from Mishawaka, Ind., rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, as the court hears arguments to allow birth control in healthcare plans in the Zubik vs. Burwell case. The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge from faith-based groups that object to an Obama administration effort to ensure their employees and students can get cost-free birth control. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Nuns supporting Little Sisters of the Poor, attend a rally in front of the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Today the high court will hear arguments in Little Sisters v. Burwell, which will examine whether the governments new health care regulation will require the Little Sisters to change their healthcare plan, to other services that violate Catholic teaching. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Nuns supporting Little Sisters of the Poor, attend a rally in front of the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Today the high court will hear arguments in Little Sisters v. Burwell, which will examine whether the governments new health care regulation will require the Little Sisters to change their healthcare plan, to other services that violate Catholic teaching. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Nuns supporting Little Sisters of the Poor, attend a rally in front of the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Today the high court will hear arguments in Little Sisters v. Burwell, which will examine whether the governments new health care regulation will require the Little Sisters to change their healthcare plan, to other services that violate Catholic teaching. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Nuns supporting Little Sisters of the Poor, attend a rally in front of the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Today the high court will hear arguments in Little Sisters v. Burwell, which will examine whether the governments new health care regulation will require the Little Sisters to change their healthcare plan, to other services that violate Catholic teaching. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Nuns supporting Little Sisters of the Poor, attend a rally in front of the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Today the high court will hear arguments in Little Sisters v. Burwell, which will examine whether the governments new health care regulation will require the Little Sisters to change their healthcare plan, to other services that violate Catholic teaching. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: Nuns supporting Little Sisters of the Poor, attend a rally in front of the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Today the high court will hear arguments in Little Sisters v. Burwell, which will examine whether the governments new health care regulation will require the Little Sisters to change their healthcare plan, to other services that violate Catholic teaching. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Kate Perelman of Silver Spring, Md., left, with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, holds a sign saying "Notorious IUD" as a play on words with the nickname for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as she, and others, rally in support of birth control access regardless of employer, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge from faith-based groups that object to an Obama administration effort to ensure their employees and students can get cost-free birth control. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
FILE - In this March 25, 2015, file photo, Margot Riphagen, of New Orleans, wears a birth control pills costume as she protests in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard oral arguments in the challenges of President Barack Obama's health care law requirement that businesses provide their female employees with health insurance that includes access to contraceptives. Some insurance plans offered on the health marketplaces violate the lawâs requirements for womenâs health, according to a new report from a womenâs legal advocacy group. The National Womenâs Law Center analyzed plans in 15 states over two years and found some excluded dependents from maternity coverage, prohibited coverage of breast pumps or failed to cover all federally approved birth control methods. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
FILE - In this March 25, 2015, file photo, protestors one wearing a birth control pills costume participate in a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard oral arguments in the challenges of President Barack Obama's health care law requirement that businesses provide their female employees with health insurance that includes access to contraceptives. Religion, birth control and the Obama health care overhaul are about to collide at the Supreme Court yet again. Faith-affiliated charities, colleges and hospitals that oppose some or all contraception as immoral are battling the Obama administration over rules that allow them to opt out of covering the contraceptives for women that are among a range of preventive services that must be included in health plans at no extra cost. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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