First Obamacare Costs Released

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These days, no matter what kind of health insurance you have (or don’t have), health care costs are no doubt a big part of your budget. But lately we’ve been hearing a lot about the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” Like us, you are probably wondering: will this law help or hurt your budget?

Well, today we got more information about what expenses might be under this law.

The Obama administration has just released data reflecting the expected insurance premiums for 36 different states. While the overall numbers are lower than previously projected, some individuals will still face higher costs than what they currently pay for health insurance.

The rates will differ state to state. Minnesota and Wyoming have been pinpointed to showcase the lowest and highest premiums projected premiums.

According to the data reflecting weighted state averages:

  • A 27 year old non-smoker from Minnesota can expect to pay $144 a month for the lowest bronze plan.

  • A 27 year old non-smoker from Wyoming can expect to pay $425 a month for the lowest bronze plan.

Rates will also vary by age and generation. Younger individuals will likely be hit with higher premiums than what they currently pay while older enrollees could potentially look forward to a relieving break in their healthcare costs. Despite the higher costs for younger individuals the lower tier plans do intend to provide fuller coverage than previous bare-bones insurance plans. Benefits like preventive health care visits, prescription drug coverage, and some hospital care are to be included.

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The healthcare revamp also removes pre-existing conditions as a viable consideration in cost or coverage. The change effectively erases a criterion that used to result in higher premiums for sick individuals or complete rejection from certain health care providers. Some provider concerns will remain impactful on cost – for instance smokers can continue to expect a higher cost while non-smokers won’t be subject to the same increase.

While the data released gives insight into the potential costs within the new health-care exchange it’s still limited in its scope. Only data for the 36 states operating under federally run exchanges was included in the release. Further, the costs for young individuals and families are highlighted while no information regarding expected costs for older single individuals is included. The gaps in information will be filled come the enrollment date.

If you’re still on the fence about Obamacare, you’re not alone. With the October 1st implementation date quickly approaching many are still holding their breath to see what the projected changes in the healthcare system will bring.

Those enrolling can begin doing so at the start of October with coverage beginning on January 1st, 2014.

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  • The administration is comparing apples to oranges. Finding valid points to compare is almost impossible, yet the media continues to do so.

    The law is more about access than affordability. Access comparisons are much easier to make, but not covered.

    • Thanks for the comment, Kevin. As you alluded to, there are certainly a lot of factors involved, which makes it hard to compare apples to apples. Ultimately, we probably won’t know for sure about the costs until it actually goes live, but these early indications are interesting to note.