Report: health insurance marketplace means affordable choices for consumers
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report on Wednesday that says consumers will see increased competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace, leading to new and affordable choices for consumers.
According to the report, premiums nationwide will be around 16 percent lower than originally expected before taking into account financial assistance. About 95 percent of consumers will have a choice of two or more health insurance issuers. About 1 in 4 of these insurance companies is offering health plans in the individual market for the first time in 2014, which the HHS views as a sign of healthy competition.
When the Idaho exchange opens on October 1, individuals, families and small businesses of up to 50 employees will be able to find out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits. The open enrollment period lasts through March 2014.
No one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Coverage begins as early as January 1, or in as little as 100 days from Setember 25.
Those who already have health insurance through employers or government plans such as Medicare or Medicaid do not have to purchase coverage. The Idaho exchange was set up under the Affordable Care Act to provide insurance options for consumers who are uninsured or have been uninsurable because of insurance companies’ underwriting policies; however, unlike other states, Idaho's insurance exchange will be run by the state and not the federal government.
Idahoans with questions about the state health exchange can call 855-YHIdaho (855-944-3246), send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or write the Consumer Resource Center at PO Box 943, Boise, ID, 83701.
The Kaiser Family Foundation created a subsidy calculator to illustrate health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in new health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act.
Enter your income level, age, and family size to get an estimate of your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance.
To read the report on health insurance rates, visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketplacePremiums/ib_marketplace_premiums.cfm.
To view the data on rates released today, visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketplacePremiums/datasheet_home.cfm.