A new report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services finds that Missouri consumers will see increased competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace for a total of 17 health plans to choose from.
Health and Human Services says premiums nationwide will be about 16 percent lower than originally expected – with about 95 percent of eligible uninsured residents living in states with lower than expected premiums – before taking into account financial assistance.
“We are excited to see that rates in the Missouri Marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced-out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable.”
Oct. 1 marks the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014. Coverage begins as early as Jan. 1. Plans in the Marketplace will be categorized as either “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze.” Young adults will also have the option of purchasing a “catastrophic” plan.
The Health and Human Services report shows, for example, that a 27-year old living in Missouri who makes $25,000 per year will pay $87 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in Missouri with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost $72 per month.
That cost goes down in St. Louis, where a 27-year old who makes $25,000 per year will pay $76 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $144 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in St. Louis that earns an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost $32 per month.
Sebelius says the 60 percent of uninsured Missouri residents will be able to find coverage for $100 or less per month in the Federal Marketplace (www.HealthCare.gov), taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage.
Senator McCaskill says she’s sad that Missouri legislators chose not to expand Medicaid, which would have brought the costs down even lower for many Missourians.
In Missouri, the average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan will be $318 and for the lowest cost bronze plan it will be $245. The average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections based off of Congressional Budget Office estimates.
For more, visit www.HealthCare.gov, or www.cuidadodesalud.gov in Spanish, or call 1-800-318-2596 toll free (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Consultants are trained to speak with consumers about their options; translation services are available in 150 languages.
Also, there will be people in local communities to explain coverage options. Those will include federal employees called “navigators” and other assisters, community health centers, local libraries, and others.
Consumers will be able to find out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits. No one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition.