November 1, 2017


Health Insurance Suddenly Just Got Cheaper for a Lot of People (Beth Skwarecki, 11/01/17, Lifehacker)

[S]ome government funny business around CSR payments means silver plans are way more expensive than usual. But the government also gives subsidies to help low and middle income families pay for insurance--and the dollar amount of those subsidies is based on the price of silver plans. So the subsidies are now also huge.

This means that, if you get a subsidy, your silver plan will likely be about the same out-of-pocket price as last year. But that means you could also save money by buying a cheaper bronze plan instead. For many people, the subsidies are large enough they can get a bronze plan for free.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a 60-year-old making $36,000 a year could get a zero-premium plan in more than half of the nation's counties. Even at an income of $48,000, a 60-year-old could still get zero-premium insurance in more than 600 counties. In California, half a million people could pay the state's minimum charge of $1/month.

Even if you don't get a deal that good, a lot of people will find something cheap. For example, last year, 71 percent of people on the exchanges could get a plan for less than $75/month. This year, according to a report from the federal government, 80 percent of people can. And that's on average; in some states, like Alabama, more than 90 percent of people shopping on the exchanges will find a plan for $75 or less.

Posted by at November 1, 2017 6:26 PM