Obamacare Premiums Report Shows Low Prices For Uninsured With Wide Variation
The average price for basic health coverage purchased on health insurance exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s health care reform law will be $249 a month, not counting subsidies, in 48 states reviewed by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a government report published Wednesday.
The health insurance exchanges, marketplaces for uninsured people and consumers who don’t get health benefits from their employers, are scheduled to launch on Oct. 1 for an enrollment period that runs through the end of March for 2014 coverage. This latest analysis of what the health insurance plans will cost comes just six days before people will be able to find out what they’ll actually pay.
“For millions of Americans, these new options will finally make health insurance work within their budget,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. Reporters were provided access to the report prior to its publication.
The figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services represent averages and prices will vary widely by geographic location as well as family size, age, tobacco use and income. Even the average price of a so-called bronze plan, designed to cover 60 percent of medical expenses not counting monthly premiums, masks big variation. The average price of the cheapest bronze plan in Minnesota is $144 while in Wyoming, comparable coverage costs $425 on average, not including subsides.
For people who currently are uninsured and who qualify for financial assistance or enrollment in Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, the average prices look to be low: 56 percent of uninsured will be able to get coverage for less than $100 a month per person, Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said during the conference call.
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