There is good news today for those that need to get health insurance in the federally funded marketplace, as well as for beleaguered supporters of Obamacare.
Estimates released today by the Obama Administration show that prices in Pennsylvania’s exchange will be below the national average and rank tenth lowest out of the 47 states where data were available.
The state average for a mid-range plan, which doesn’t include out-of-pocket costs or tax credits to benefit low-income families, is $286. Nationwide the average is $328.
The least expensive “bronze” plan would be $229.
According to the report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, in Pennsylvania the average Silver plan for the average 27-year old is $170. If they have an income under $25,000, the cost with tax credits would average to $140. A family of four that makes $50,000 would pay $282 after tax credits.
These averages apply to silver health care plans which are the most common of the four available (bronze, silver, gold, platinum). HHS defines the metallic tiers based on a measure of the plan’s generosity.
Philadelphia residents will have 42 plans to choose from and the average silver plan before tax credits is $210. For those making under $25,000, it is $145 after credits and $282 for families making more than $50,000 after tax credits. Pittsburghers, meanwhile, can choose between 36 plans and face an average cost of $134. Those with incomes under $25,000 will average $139 and those over $50,000 $282.
There are, however, a few variables that could change premium prices including income, family size, age, hometown, and tobacco use.
The federal government is running Pennsylvania’s health exchange because Gov. Corbett declined the opportunity to create a state-run exchange. The federal government is at least partially managing the exchanges of thirty-six states.
One outstanding issue, though, concerns those who won’t be covered because Gov. Corbett chose not to accept the federal expansion of Medicaid. The governor offered to cover these individuals but only if they would receive private insurance instead.
Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, insurers would be prohibited from denying people coverage because of pre-conditions or high costs. In exchange, those who are uninsured, who are generally healthier and cheaper to cover, would have to sign for health insurance.