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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

WebMD News from HealthDay

Health Insurance Premiums Will be Competitive

There will be numerous options for Americans trying to find lower insurance premiums under the health care law, according to two independent private studies.

Government tax credits would lower the cost of a benchmark "silver" policy to about $190 a month for a single person who earns about $29,000 a year, regardless of their age, says a study by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, the Associated Press reported.

Some younger people who combine their tax credit with a basic "bronze" policy could reduce their premiums to between $100 and $140 a month, and older people could lower their monthly fees to well below $100 if they opt for higher deductibles and co-payments, according to the Kaiser study.

A study by the private data analysis firm Avalere Health averaged the costs of policies with different levels of coverage. Without tax credits, premiums for a "silver" plan would be about $270 a month for a 21-year-old, close to $330 a month for a 40-year-old, and $615 for a 60-year-old, the AP reported.

Beginning Oct. 1, people who don't have health insurance through work will be able to use new online insurance markets to compare private plans and learn if they qualify for a tax credit. About 4 of 5 people in the new markets will be eligible for some degree of tax credit.

As of Jan. 1, nearly all Americans will need to have coverage or face fines.

The insurance marketplace will be competitive, but there will be significant price differences among age groups, states and even within states, according to Caroline Pearson, a vice president of Avalere and lead author of the company's study.

"We are seeing competitive offerings in every market if you buy toward the low end of what's available," Pearson told the AP. But for uninsured people who currently don't paying health insurance premiums, "this is still a big cost that they're expected to fit into their budgets," she added.

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