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Summary of the Health and Human Services Report on Obamacare

October 1st marks the beginning of new health insurance enrollment through the statewide health insurance exchanges. A recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services provides some insight about what coverage plans and premiums will look like in your state. The health insurance exchanges will provide a simply way to compare health insurance plans available in each state, leaving consumers more informed and prepared to make a decision regarding their coverage.

The most recent report details information about the health insurance plans available in the 36 states where the insurance exchanges will be partly or fully run by the Department of Health and Human Services for 2014. The report is primarily focused on plans with the lowest premiums in each state, since it’s expected that cost will be a critical factor in the decision-making process for individuals across the country.


Coverage Availability

The report research determined that most consumers (95%) will have a choice between 2 or more health insurance carriers. Additionally, 95% of consumers live within states with average premiums that are less than earlier estimates. Individuals will have an average of 53 health plan choices in states where HHS is partially or fully running the marketplace. Each rating area within various plan levels will have between 6 and 169 plans available.


Plan Costs: Silver Plans

For the purposes of identifying the cost of a plan that individuals and families are most likely to purchase, the researchers review the second lowest cost silver plan, finding that premiums are approximately 16% less than previously projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

  • In 15 states, the second lowest cost silver plan will cost less than $300 a month. This represents a savings of $1100 a year per plan enrollee.

  • 95% of insured individuals now available for the exchanges live in states where the average premiums are less than previous Congressional Budget Office estimations.

Young Adults and Health Coverage

Young adults will be paying lower premiums and benefit from the addition of a catastrophic plan that covers primary care, prevention, and high costs incurred as a result of illness or a major accident.

  • The average lowest monthly premiums for a 27-year-old individual in 36 states will be $129 for a catastrophic plan, $163 for a bronze plan, and $203 for a silver plan.

  • More than half of currently uninsured individuals live in states where a 27-year-old can purchase bronze plans for less than $165 a month before tax credits.

  • It’s estimated that there are 6.4 million uninsured Americans between the ages of 25 and 30 who will now be eligible for coverage through Medicaid or insurance exchanges in 2014

Takeaway Data From The HHS Report

There are several key aspects determined in the study that are worth noting.

  • Premiums are lower in states where there is more plan competition and higher levels of transparency.

  • For 27-year-old individuals, premiums on the lowest bronze plan range between $130 and $250 per month before the tax credits.

  • For a family of four with an income of $50,000, the lowest bronze plans range between $0 and $192.


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