Health & Science
12:01 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Ga. Health Premiums on Exchanges Lower than Forecast

Figures released by the federal government at 12:01 Wednesday morning show insurance premiums on Georgia's federally-run healthcare exchange, or "marketplace," will be lower than earlier forecast.  

The exchange goes live Oct. 1, with open enrollment continuing through March.  

According to the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Georgia’s average premium for a mid-level “silver” plan will be $304 a month. A bronze plan will average $265.  Those numbers represent a mean average for all ages in all regions, before federal subsidies kick in.

“Consumers will also benefit by getting more choices,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a media briefing Tuesday.  She credited an influx of competition for driving down premiums.

In Atlanta, there are 68 qualified health plans offered on the exchange.  According to HHS:

  • An Atlanta family of four with an annual income of $50,000 would pay $138 a month for a bare-bones plan, after factoring in a federal subsidy, according to HHS data.  
  • A more traditional, lowest-level "Silver" plan costs $744 before subsidies.  After the government chips in, the cost to that family will be $282. 
  • A 27-year-old Atlantan on a single policy will pay between $127 (lowest catastrophic) and $214 (lowest gold) per month, without a federal subsidy.  The standard, a low-level "silver" plan, will cost $188.
  • A 27-year-old Atlantan making $25,000 per year is eligible for a federal subsidy.  As such, she/he will pay around $105 (lowest bronze) or $145 (lowest silver) per month. 

For months, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has pressed Washington, arguing the exchanges would cause premiums here to jump up to 198% compared to current numbers. 

Hudgens' spokesman Glenn Allen told WABE via Email, "...we will have no comment." 

To find out how much of a subsidy you might qualify for, check out the calculator below. 

Still unsure of how the exchanges work?  Our partners at Kaiser Health News have put together a great infographic. 

How might changes mandated by the healthcare law affect the number of insured in Georgia?  Here's an interactive map where you can zoom in all the way down to a specific zip code. 

Unsure what, or even if, changes coming as part of Obamacare will affect you?  Find out all you could want to know here

[Expanded healthcare policy coverage on 90.1 comes through a partnership between WABE, NPR and Kaiser Health News.]