Four reasons why consumers will find affordable health insurance in the marketplaces


October 25, 2016

Editor’s note: With the press coverage and campaign rhetoric about increasing premiums in Affordable Care Act marketplace plans, we want you to see important facts, supplied by the health care experts at Families USAOpen enrollment in the marketplaces begins November 1. We all have to spread the word about that, and make sure people know that 85 percent of current enrollees and a similar proportion of people eligible but now unenrolled qualify for tax credits that bring down the cost of insurance dramatically, offsetting increases charged by insurers.

Here’s a good example of the way the tax credits help people: next year, a 27-year-old earning $25,000 a year will get a monthly tax credit on average of $160, up 62 percent from their tax credit in 2016. So his or her net cost in 2017 will be $142 per month for the benchmark plan, almost exactly what they would have paid this year ($143). (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Health Plan Choice and Premiums in the 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace.)

The following post was written by Heather Bates and Claire McAndrew of Families USA and was originally published on Families USA’s blog on Tuesday, October 25. 

doctor-health-careThe uninsured rate is at an all-time low, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made it possible for 20 million, and counting, to get covered and stay covered.

However, news of steeply rising premiums is causing some consumers to wonder whether they will be able to find an affordable marketplace plan when open enrollment starts on November 1. Consumers seeking health insurance on the marketplaces may have better, and more affordable, options than they think. Here’s why.

Many people in the marketplace will not have to pay large premium increases.

This is true for a few reasons.

  1. Nearly 85 percent of marketplace consumers are eligible for and currently receiving financial assistance: With this assistance, consumers are protected from spending more than a set share of their income on premiums. Therefore, they will not face a price increase when a health insurance company hikes up its rates.
  2. The way premiums are changing depends on where you live: While some areas are seeing large increases in premiums, other areas are actually experiencing decreases in premiums. Premium increases are not a universal experience across the country.
  3. Most consumers will be able to choose from multiple plans: Despite discussion of insurers pulling out of the marketplaces this year, the fact is that most marketplace enrollees have multiple plans from which to choose. Just because one insurer’s prices are unaffordable doesn’t mean that all will be.
  4. Consumers should explore all plan options to find a better deal:Consumers should explore all marketplace plans in their area to determine which is most affordable and likely to meet their needs. Many consumers who check each year to see if a more affordable plan is available are able to save money.

Marketplace plans provide important Affordable Care Act protections.

All plans that consumers buy in the marketplace provide these and other important Affordable Care Act protections and benefits to enrollees:

    • Coverage for an essential set of benefits including prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health care, which were often excluded from coverage before the ACA
    • The right for your children to stay on your health plan until their 26th birthday
    • Protections against higher premiums based on your health or because you are a woman
    • Bans on annual and lifetime dollar caps on coverage

Consumers can enroll in coverage starting November 1.

During this critical open enrollment season, it’s important to educate consumers about the opportunity they have to get health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Insurers cannot discriminate against people because of pre-existing conditions, and most people who get coverage through the marketplaces receive financial help to pay for it.

It is essential that above the debates about the politics and policies of the Affordable Care Act, consumers hear the most important message of all: Open Enrollment for 2017 coverage starts November 1 and goes through January 31.

Consumers can visit to enroll in health coverage and to find local help choosing and signing up for a plan.

Categories: Health, Health Care Reform, Medicaid

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Discuss: “Four reasons why consumers will find affordable health insurance in the marketplaces”

  1. avatar
    October 30, 2016 at 11:51 pm #

    First of all, an excellent article pointing out the costs to ACA enrollees, the options they still have, and the benefits to all those covered by health insurance such as no discrimination on pre-existing conditions, coverage of children till they are 26, mental health coverages, etc. Those are all wonderful coverages for everyone.

    Second, I think blaming rising health insurance premium costs on the ACA is not valid.

    I have been engaged in providing health insurance to employees in public, not for profit, and business organizations I have worked for or owned since 1970. One of the fastest, if not the fastest, rising cost in our country during these last 46 years has been the cost of health care.

    In 1970, the average per capita cost of medical services in the US was $311.00. In 2014, the average per capita costs in the US was $9,403.00. It now costs 30 times more for health care per capita in this country than it did 46 years ago. This massive increase has far outpaced the rise in prices due to inflation. During the last 26 years, the cost of living has gone up 5 times. If medical costs went up only as much as inflation these past 46 years, the per capita cost today would be $1,555.00 per person instead of $9,403.00.

    The US has the most expensive health care system in the world. Our per capita cost of $9,403.00 is more than double the average among industrialized nations of the world. And, unfortunately, based on health ratings among the industrialized nations of the world, we usually rank about 30th, including for life expectancy.

    A 2014 study by The Commonwealth Fund report compares the U.S. with 10 other industrialized nations: France, Australia, Germany, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. All were judged to be superior based on various factors. These include quality of care, access to doctors and equity of health care throughout the countries. Results of the study rely on data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Health Organization and interviews from physicians and patients.

    Posted by Robert Beezat
  2. avatar
    October 29, 2016 at 12:11 am #

    i work in the low income tax site and saw Obamacare rape taxpayers with fines because they had the wrong premium and the irs admitted that over 27,000 taxpayers got fined because they were given the wrong premium and will not be reimbursed. Obamacare is a rip off, insurance companies are pulling out of that mess.

    Posted by alicia dorsey


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