November 23, 2018

THANKS, HERITAGE:

Many Who Buy ACA Health Plans For 2019 Find Lower Prices And More Choice (Jordan Rau, November 23, 2018,  Morning Edition)

In recent years, some cities, including Memphis and Phoenix, withered into health insurance wastelands, as insurers fled and premiums skyrocketed in the insurance marketplaces that were set up under the Affordable Care Act.

But today, as in many parts of the U.S., these two cities are experiencing something unprecedented: Insurance premiums are sinking and choices are sprouting.

In the newly competitive market in Memphis, for example, the cheapest midlevel "silver" plan for 2019 health coverage will cost $498 a month for a 40-year-old -- a 17 percent decrease compared to last year.

And four insurers are now selling ACA policies in Phoenix. That's the same market that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump highlighted in 2016 because all but one insurer had left the region -- he called it proof of "the madness of Obamacare."

Janice Johnson, a 63-year-old retiree in Arizona's Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, said her monthly premium for a high-deductible bronze plan will be $207 for 2019, instead of $270, because she is switching carriers.

"When you're on a fixed income, that makes a difference," said Johnson, who receives a government subsidy to help cover her premium. "I'll know more in a year from now if I'm going to stick with this company. But I'm going to give them a chance, and I'm pretty excited by that."

Posted by at November 23, 2018 3:40 PM

  

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