Government releases prices for marketplace insurance plans - WRBL

Government releases prices for marketplace insurance plans

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The federal government released new details Wednesday on what insurance plans for the new online marketplace are expected to cost.

The average premium for the lowest 'bronze' plan in Florida is expected to be $257 per month, with the average price jumping to $304 for the lowest silver plan, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Consumers shopping for insurance on the marketplace that launches Oct. 1 will have the choice of four levels of plan – bronze, silver, gold and platinum – with all plans required to cover certain essential benefits including prescription drugs.

The numbers also show how tax credits can lower costs for those who qualify. For example, a Florida family of four with an income of $50,000 would pay a premium of $789 per month for the lowest silver plan before the tax credit, and $282 after the tax credit – a savings of more than $500.

In another example released in the data Wednesday, a 27-year-old from the Tampa Bay area who makes $25,000 per year is could get the lowest bronze plan for $169 before any tax credit or $96 after the credit.

HHS said in a news release Wednesday that the premiums nationwide will be about 16 percent lower than originally expected.

While some numbers were released as part of a report from HHS on Wednesday, Florida consumers still can't see all their choices yet. Florida is one of the states that chose not to operate its own exchange, so individuals will shop on the federally run marketplace.

On healthcare.gov, they can take a survey to see some of the benefits available to them or be linked to a calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation to see what subsidies they might be able to get. But details of plans and names of the companies providing them haven't been posted to the site yet.

Coverage can begin Jan. 1 but the enrollment period runs through March.

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