Affordability, Competition and Choice in the PPACA Marketplaces: 5 Key Findings

In order to understand how the health insurance exchanges are working in the wake of the first open enrollment period, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation has analyzed data on premium affordability, competition and choice in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

Here are five key findings from the report.

1. According to HHS, people who signed up for health plans through the federally facilitated marketplace and qualified for premium subsidies (which are available to people earning from 100 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty level) have an average post-subsidy premium of $82 per month, 76 percent less than the full premium average of $346.

2. Forty-six percent of the people who signed up for health plans through the federal exchange and qualified for subsidies have premiums of $50 or less, after factoring in the subsidies, according to HHS. Nearly 70 percent have premiums of $100 or less after subsidies.

3. People who signed up for silver plans gravitated toward lower premiums. Sixty-five percent signed up for the least or second-least expensive silver plan.

4. Most consumers who selected health plans through the PPACA exchanges had a number of choices, according to HHS. Eighty-two percent of those eligible for qualified health plans under the PPACA live in rating areas with three to 11 insurers in the marketplace, and 96 percent live in areas with two to 11 insurers.

5. More competition is correlated with a less expensive benchmark plan, which is the second-lowest cost silver plan in a rating area. An additional health plan issuer means a 4 percent reduction in the benchmark premium, according to the report.

For more information, read the full report here.

More Articles on PPACA Exchange Plans:
Insurers Show More Interest in 3 State Exchanges  
Health Insurers Call for More Widely Available Catastrophic Coverage  
House Republicans Call for Halt to PPACA Subsidies 


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