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New HHS report shows buying preferences in Marketplace

Wednesday June 18, 2014
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A new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services found that people who selected silver plans, the most popular plan type in the federal Marketplace, paid an average premium of $69 per month with tax credits. In the federal Marketplace, 69% of enrollees who selected plans with tax credits had premiums of $100 a month or less, and 46% paid $50 a month or less after tax credits. The report also reviewed competition and choice nationwide among health insurance plans in 2013-2014. On average, consumers could choose from five health insurers and 47 Marketplace plans. An increase of one issuer in a rating area is associated with 4 percent decline in the second-lowest cost silver plan premium, on average.

“What we’re finding is that the Marketplace is working,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a news release. “Consumers have more choices, and they’re paying less for their premiums. Nearly 7 in 10 consumers who signed up for Marketplace coverage are paying $100 or less for that coverage.”

According to the report, on average, monthly premiums for people who selected plans with tax credits fell 76% after tax credits, dropping the cost of the average monthly premium from $346 before tax credits to $82 after tax credits across all plan types.

In 2014, there were 266 issuers in the Marketplace by state, offering more than 19,000 Marketplace plans across all ratings areas, excluding catastrophic plans. Overall, 82% of people eligible to purchase a qualified health plan could choose from three or more health insurance issuers, and 96% could choose from two or more health insurers in the Marketplace. In 2014, new issuers represent almost 26% of all issuers in the Marketplace, and the new Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans tended to have lower premiums than other plans. Early reports from the states suggest that additional issuers will be entering the Marketplace in 2015.

According to the HHS release, the report demonstrates that the new tax credits are working as intended to make premiums affordable, and the Marketplace is bringing much-needed competition to the insurance market.

To read the report visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/Premiums/2014MktPlacePremBrf.pdf


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