Need to find your own health insurance coverage? If you don’t have the luxury of getting this benefit from your employer, then you know it’s a headache to pin down the right plan — one that meets your health needs, those of your family and — critically — your budget. (You should also know that open enrollment for 2019 starts on Nov. 1.)
Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal government expanded access to health insurance options for people who don’t receive it through an employer.
Getting insurance through the federal marketplace can be confusing to navigate, and rates are generally rising — increasing 32 percent on average nationally from 2017 to 2018, according to a recent study by the nonprofit Urban Institute. But the picture varies wildly from state to state. In Iowa — home to the highest increase — premiums shot up 117 percent in that period, while in Alaska premiums declined by more than 22 percent.
The volatility is partly the result of Trump administration moves that killed key provisions of Obamacare, which came after an unsuccessful attempt by Republican legislators to kill the health care law altogether — and also by how individual states chose to respond. Lawmakers continue to do battle over Obamacare, so more change is inevitable.
In the meantime, this is what it looks like for consumers in each state and the District of Columbia. Here are what it costs, on average, for an individual to buy health insurance in every state and D.C. in 2018, and how it changed from 2017 — from least expensive to most expensive: