November 3, 2017

THANKS, DONALD!:

Most Counties Will Have Free 2018 Exchange Plans for Low-Income Enrollees (Caroline F. Pearson , Chris Sloan, Elizabeth Carpenter | Nov 02, 2017, aVALERE)

New analysis from Avalere finds that nearly 98% of counties with exchanges operated by HealthCare.gov will have free bronze plan options for low-income consumers aged 50 earning 150% of poverty or less ($18,090 for an individual or $36,900 for a family of four).

"This year, more than ever, it is important for consumers to shop around and compare their options across metal levels," said Chris Sloan, senior manager at Avalere. "The dramatically higher subsidies mean consumers could be getting much better deals for bronze and gold plans for 2018." 

In 2018, these highly-subsidized consumers will also have access to free silver plan options in 18% of counties. Further, 10% of counties will have free gold plan options available to individuals making $18,090, or 150% of poverty, per year. While availability of free subsidized options decreases for individuals with higher incomes, 2018 will have a high number of free subsidized options. 

Avalere experts link the increased availability of free plan options to the Administration's decision to end cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers. This decision has led to substantially higher premium subsidies in 2018, as insurers increase premium levels to make up for the lack of CSR payments. 

"The curious effect of the Administration's elimination of the cost-sharing reduction payments is that many subsidized individuals may find that they pay less for premiums in 2018," said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere.

Posted by at November 3, 2017 11:11 AM

  

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