"The majority (around 6 out of 10) of the people uninsured today will be able to find coverage for $100 or less per month in the Marketplace, taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage."
– Health and Human Services press release, 9/25
On September 25th, the Department of Health and Human Services released details on the cost of insurance plans that will be offered in 36 states where HHS has organized a new insurance marketplace, to open October 1st. In each state, plans will be offered in four categories, with varying levels of choice and out-of-pocket costs.
To make the "around 6 in 10" calculation, HHS starts with people purchasing insurance in the new marketplace, most of whom will be eligible for tax credits worth hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. The plans are grouped into four broad categories called Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, depending on the cost. So, for example, the press release says, "a 27-year old living in Dallas who makes $25,000 per year will pay $74 per month for the lowest cost Bronze plan and $139 per month for the lowest cost Silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in Dallas with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost only $26 per month, taking into account tax credits."
According to HHS, once subsidies are taken into account, 10.8 million people will be able to purchase premiums costing less than $100 a month. Another 12.4 million will be covered through expanded state Medicaid programs or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), at no cost or virtually no cost to themselves. Together, that makes up 23.2 million of 41.3 million uninsured who are eligible for new programs.
While the analysis only looked at 36 states where HHS has organized the new marketplaces, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber says the picture is likely to be similar in the states running their own marketplaces.
Left unsaid is that plans with the most affordable premiums, typically come with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
True, although a fair number of these people will face significant costs beyond the premiums.