A major question about Obamacare was how pricing would shake out for consumers. Would it end up being ruinously expensive or relatively light on the wallet?
Now the numbers are coming in, and it appears that for many Americans the health-insurance plans bought under the new government program are fairly affordable. Almost seven out of 10 people who bought plans through federally run marketplaces and who receive tax credits are paying monthly premiums of less than $100, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. The study doesn’t include data from the 14 states that operate their own insurance marketplaces.
Over the years, the high cost of health insurance has discouraged millions of Americans from enrolling for benefits. Obamacare, which launched this year under the Affordable Care Act, was created as a way to provide more competition and lower prices for workers who did not get insurance through their employers. The program’s main mechanism for helping people afford coverage is tax credits based on income, with the government providing an average credit of $264 per month.
Critics, however, have pointed to the law’s costs to taxpayers as a negative, noting that taxpayers will also pay more for the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid.
The tax credits helped lower the average monthly premium to $82, with credits reducing the per-person premium by three-quarters, the government study found. Overall, 69 percent of people buying plans with tax credits are paying less than $100 per month.
About 5.4 million Americans bought health insurance through a federally run marketplace. The share of U.S. residents without health coverage has dropped to its lowest rate since 2008, according to Gallup.
Read more: CBS News