Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Health Insurance Exchange Prices Disclosed: Government Touts Affordability: For Young Adults, Premiums Higher Than Current Plans

From The Wall Street Journal, "Prices Set for New Health-Care Exchanges: Younger Buyers May Face Higher Insurance Premiums" by Louis Radnofsky:
Across the country, the average premium for a 27-year-old nonsmoker, regardless of gender, will start at $163 a month for the lowest-cost "bronze" plan; $203 for the "silver" plan, which provides more benefits than bronze; and $240 for the more-comprehensive "gold" plan.

But for some buyers, prices will rise from today's less-comprehensive policies. In Nashville, Tenn., a 27-year-old male nonsmoker could pay as little as $41 a month now for a bare-bones policy, but would pay $114 a month for the lowest-cost bronze option in the new federal health exchanges.

Likewise, the least-expensive bronze policy would rise to $195 a month in Philadelphia for that same 27-year-old, from $73 today. In Cheyenne, Wyo., the lowest-cost option would be $271 a month, up from $82 today.
Insurers also will have to offer a more generous benefits package that includes hospital care, preventive services, prescription drugs and maternity coverage.

For consumers used to skimpier plans—or young, healthy people who previously enjoyed attractive rates—that could mean significantly higher premiums.

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