HHS Unveils Data on Federal Exchange Subsidies, Premiums
U.S. residents who enrolled in coverage through the federal health insurance exchange pay an average of $82 per month, or 24% of the total premium, while the remaining 76% is offset by federal subsidies, according to an HHS report released Wednesday, AP/ABC News reports.
The new data cover the 5.4 million U.S. residents in the 36 states that used the federal exchange in the first open enrollment period (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/ABC News, 6/18). Nearly 90% of U.S. residents who purchased coverage through the federal exchange received a subsidy (Levey, Los Angeles Times, 6/17).
HHS said it does not have complete data on the states that ran their own exchanges (AP/ABC News, 6/18).
Subsidies and Premiums
According to HHS, the average monthly insurance premium is $346, with the federal government picking up $264 of that cost on average through tax credits. The report also found that about four out of five enrollees pay premiums of less than $100 per month after subsidies (Goldstein, Washington Post, 6/18). Nearly half pay less than $50, according to the report (Demko, Modern Healthcare, 6/18).
The average after-subsidy premiums and savings varied by state. Mississippi residents averaged the lowest after-subsidy costs at $23 per month, while New Jersey averaged the highest after-subsidy amount at $148 per month. Meanwhile, Wyoming had the highest average premiums at $536, while Utah had the lowest average premiums at $243.
More Choice, More Savings
According to the report, there is an average of 47 plans from five different insurers available in states using the federal exchange. Meanwhile, each additional insurer that participates in the federal exchange in a state lowered premiums for the silver plan by about 4% on average (AP/ABC News, 6/18).
HHS found the amount of competition between insurers in the federal exchange to be uneven state by state, ranging from one insurer available in New Hampshire and West Virginia to 16 in New York. Overall, 82% of U.S. residents who purchased coverage through the federal exchange had a choice of at least three health insurers, while 4% only had a choice of one insurer (Modern Healthcare, 6/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.