HHS releases insurance exchange costs


By Kelsey Ryan

By Kelsey Ryan

The Wichita Eagle

(MCT) — A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that in Kansas 75 percent of enrollees who selected marketplace plans had premiums of $100 a month or less, an amount that includes subsidies provided by the federal government to those whose incomes fall below certain levels.

The data come about three months after enrollment ended for the first round of signups through the insurance marketplace.

According to the report, on average, monthly premiums for Kansans who selected plans with tax credits fell 77 percent after the subsidies, dropping the cost of the average monthly premium from $290 before the subsidies, or tax credits, to $67 after tax credits across all plan types.

The costs of the subsidies are paid through taxes and fees assessed against businesses and others as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The HHS report also included data on people received from insurance companies because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires at least 80 percent of premium dollars to be spent on health care or improvements to care. The report said 83,742 Kansans received more than $4 million in refunds from insurance companies in 2012. The average refund in Kansas was about $71 per family.

HHS officials said during a news conference Tuesday that marketplace plans for 2015 will be similar to those this year. Consumers likely will be be able to begin to study them sometime tis fall.

Rates for marketplace plans in Kansas for 2015 are not now publicly available. Open enrollment will begin in November.

For more information, go to www.HealthCare.gov.

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