HHS releases premium rates, details for federal exchange plans

Data reveals wide variety of coverage offerings

HHS on Tuesday released data on more than 17,000 health insurance plans being sold through the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) federally operated health insurance exchanges, coinciding with the launch of open enrollment in the federal and state-operated insurance marketplaces, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules" reports.

For each plan, HHS listed the following information.

  • Insurer;
  • Plan name;
  • Monthly premium rates for certain demographics;
  • Plan tier—bronze, silver, gold or platinum—indicating how comprehensive the coverage is;
  • The type of plan (HMO, PPO, etc.);
  • State in which the plan is offered; and
  • County in which the plan is offered.

The demographics include:

  • A 27-year-old;
  • A family with 30-year-old parents and two children;
  • A single-parent family; and
  • A 40-year-old couple without children.

Data indicate wide variety in premiums

While more detailed information on the plans is expected to be released over the next few days, initial data show a wide variation in premium rates throughout states and even counties, the New York Times' "In Practice" reports.

For example, the data indicate that a 27-year-old living in one Oklahoma county purchasing a bronze plan would pay monthly premiums of about $100. Meanwhile, a 27-year-old living in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., purchasing a gold plan would pay a monthly premium upwards of $1,900.

The prices shown on the site do not factor in any federal subsidies for which consumers might qualify. Specific plan details like out-of-pocket costs also are not included (Craven et al., "In Practice," New York Times, 10/1; Rau, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 10/1).

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