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Average health insurance premium at $328 before tax credits, report says

–With less than a week to go before previously uninsured Americans can sign up for individual health insurance plans online through the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report (PDF) Wednesday with details about the average premium prices in the 36 states that will have federally-run health insurance exchanges or will partner with the federal government to run them.

And what the department found is that individually-purchased health insurance will cost significantly less than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted.

The average national premium for the second lowest-cost silver plan — which covers about 70 percent of medical costs, and is the so-called benchmark coverage level from which premium tax credits are calculated — will cost $328 before tax credits, which is 16 percent lower than CBO projections.  

What’s more, the report found that consumers will be able to choose from an average of 53 health plans from at least two different health insurance companies. Young adults are also able to choose from basic, “catastrophic” coverage plans, which give them an average of 57 plans from which to choose.

States with the lowest premium prices have more than twice the number of insurance companies offering plans than states with the highest premiums, the report said.

“We are excited to see that rates in the marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in a released statement

 Source: Al Jazeera

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