The cost of Obamacare's benchmark silver plans will rise in 2016. But the news is not all bad.
Obamacare open enrollment starts next week, and for nearly 8 in 10 people who will re-enroll in their health insurance plans through the federal marketplace, monthly premiums are expected to cost less than $100 after the tax credits offered to eligible consumers.
That’s among the statistics released this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agency that oversees the federal online marketplace, HealthCare.gov.
The statistic making more headlines, however, is that across all 37 states in which the federal government marketplace operates, the cost of benchmark silver plans will increase by an average of 7.5 percent next year.
Plan increases vary by region and state, though. Silver plan increases are as great as 35.7 percent in Oklahoma, and are also greater than 25 percent in Alaska, Montana and New Mexico.
Four states will see plan premiums decreases of as much as 12.6 percent in Indiana. Maine, Mississippi and Ohio are the other states that will see decreases.
Silver plans are the second-cheapest type offered in a consumer’s area (with the others being bronze, gold and platinum). Silver is often referred to as the “benchmark plan” because it’s used by the Internal Revenue Service to calculate the tax credits offered to offset premiums for some consumers, according to the U.S. Department of Health.
These tax credits, also referred to as subsidies, are available to individuals and families with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line who purchase insurance coverage via the online marketplaces, or exchanges.
According to Kaiser Health News, individuals with incomes in that range are those who earn $11,770 to $47,080. People with lower incomes are eligible for bigger credits.
Open enrollment for 2016 starts Nov. 1.
To learn more, check out “Obamacare Open Enrollment Is Coming: 5 Things You Need to Know.”
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