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Lower Health Insurance Rates Due to Health Care Marketplaces

U.S. consumers will see lower health insurance premiums on average when the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces go live October 1, a study found.

A new study by The Kaiser Family Foundation, based on data available from 17 states and the District of Columbia, provides a preview of how premiums for various coverage levels will vary across the country and how much consumers will pay with or without the tax subsidies.

“While premiums will vary significantly across the country, they are generally lower than expected,” according to the study. “For example, we estimate that the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office imply that the premium for a 40-year-old in the second lowest cost silver plan would average $320 per month nationally. Fifteen of the 18 rating areas we examined have premiums below this level, suggesting that the cost of coverage for consumers and the federal budgetary cost for tax credits will be lower than anticipated.”

Researchers used the data from 17 states and Washington to analyze what young individuals, families of four, and elderly couples living in major cities could afford when the marketplaces are fully available beginning in October, the foundation said. The researchers also looked what role ACA-provided tax subsidies would play in lowering monthly costs for lower income consumers.

Under the Affordable Care Act, uninsured consumers are required to purchase health care coverage through new state-based “marketplaces” that launch October 1 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.


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