The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this week released a report that summarizes the health plan choices and premiums available in the public exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act. This report helps employers understand the choices that their employees are facing when they enter the public exchange (aka ACA marketplace). The public exchanges open next week — Oct. 1 — and coverage for individuals who buy health insurance on the exchanges goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
HNI Compliance Advisor
The information on exchanges in the HHS report still is under review and is subject to change. The report summarizes plans available in the 36 states in which the federal government will be running the exchanges and the plans available in the 11 states and the District of Columbia, which will be running their own exchanges. Because insurance seekers are expected to shop for low-cost plans, the report zeros in on the lowest premiums in each state.
Here are some key findings from the report:
- About 95% of consumers will have two or more health insurers to chose from.
- About 95% of consumer live in states with average premiums less than earlier estimates.
- In states where the federal government is running the exchange, consumers will have an average of 53 health plans from which to chose.
- There is an average of eight different health insurers participating in each of the 36 federally run exchanges covered in the report.
- Premiums before tax credits (which are available to qualified poor consumers to offset the cost of health insurance) will be more than 16% lower than estimated.
- Of the 36 states covered in the report, those with the lowest average premium tended to have a higher average number of health insurers offering plans.
- Following are weighted premium averages in the states covered in the report: $310, lowest cost sliver; $328, second-lowest cost silver; $249, lowest-cost bronze.
Click here to read the full 15-page report [a PDF file]. Of the 15 pages, there are five pages of summarized findings and 10 pages of graphs and tables that break down the numbers by state.