The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released preliminary premium costs for the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces and the numbers are lower than even the Obama administration expected.
Though these are not reflective of the actual premiums that people will pay in the online health marketplace, these do give the public some idea of what to expect heading into the Oct. 1 opening of enrollment.
There are four basic categories of coverage -- bronze, silver, gold, platinum -- and one category that is only available to people under 30 who cannot find coverage for less than 8 percent of their income -- catastrophic. The bronze and catastrophic categories are the lowest cost plans.
The study looked at qualified health plans in the 36 states in which HHS will support or fully run the health insurance marketplace in 2014.
There are only estimates for a few plan brackets in the HHS study, so it doesn't give us a substantial sample, but we do know that there are 58 qualified health plans in San Antonio.
Basic rates for a 27 year old in San Antonio:
- Lowest gold coverage $192
- Lowest silver coverage $168
- Lowest bronze Level coverage $138
- Lowest catastrophic coverage $109
For a 27 year old with an income of $25,000, the lowest bronze level plan with the tax credit will cost $87. For that age and income level, the second-lowest silver plan without the tax credit is $196 and when you take into account the tax credit this plan ends up costing $145.
For a family of four with an income of $50,000 the second-lowest silver plan before tax credit is $710 and that same plan with the tax credit is reduced to $282. The lowest bronze plan in this family and income bracket is $73.
Families or individuals making from 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty guideline, which is $11,490 for an individual and $23,550 for a family/household of four, may qualify for the tax credits.
Keep in mind that these are only preliminary numbers and they will likely change as the marketplaces open up on Oct. 1 and the full ACA takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014, but they are encouraging for those who will be looking to purchase insurance when the marketplace opens.
- Learn everything you need to know about the health insurance marketplace at: www.healthcare.gov