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Report: Insurance choices to increase

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POSTED: October 13, 2013 9:30 p.m.

A recent report released by the Department of Health and Human Services finds that Georgia consumers will see increased competition in the health-insurance marketplace.  
According to the report, Georgia consumers will be able to choose from an average of 50 health plans. Nationally, the vast majority of consumers will have a choice of at least two different health-insurance companies. Premiums nationwide also will be around 16 percent lower than originally expected before taking into account financial assistance.  
“We are excited to see that rates in the Georgia marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” HHS 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 marked 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 also will have the option of purchasing a “catastrophic” plan.   
In Georgia, the average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan will be $304, and for the lowest-cost bronze plan will be $265. The average premium nationally for the second-lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections, based off Congressional Budget Office estimates.
The report shows that a 27-year-old living in Georgia who makes $25,000 per year will pay $103 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 Georgia with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost $1,322 per month.
About 60 percent of the individuals who are uninsured today will be able to find coverage for $100 or less per month in the marketplace, taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage.
For more information, go to HealthCare.gov, cuidadodesalud.gov or marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champion.html, or call 1-800-318-2596.
There also will be people in local communities to provide in-person help with coverage choices, such as Navigators and other assisters, community health centers, libraries and Champions for Coverage.

 

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