5/28/2013 5:43 PM ET|
Obamacare prices roll in lower than forecast
In California, the premiums submitted by insurance companies are surprisingly competitive.
All of those things could be true, in some states more than others. But in one key state, the costs are coming in surprisingly low.
California has announced the premiums for its residents under what it calls Covered California, a health benefit exchange that is developing the state's insurance marketplace. Covered California has picked 13 health insurance plans to start with next year and has put together a booklet (.pdf form) summarizing them.
There are four categories of coverage -- which the state has named bronze, silver, gold and platinum -- and the rates for each vary by region and residents' ages. For silver, the second-cheapest plan, the average monthly premium ranges from $304 to $335. The booklet has more detailed information.
These costs aren't for Californians who already get health insurance from their employers or Medicare or Medicaid. Rather, they would be for residents who don't have insurance or who buy it on their own.
And while they still must get final approval, many observers who have looked over them say they aren't bad. They are certainly less than what people would pay today for the same level of coverage, Jonathan Cohn writes at the New Republic. Someone making $29,000 a year would pay about $2,400 a year in premiums, Cohn writes. Someone making $17,000 a year would pay about $700 a year.
A huge unanswered question here is what happens to the premiums in subsequent years. Companies are most likely low-balling prices to grab market share. What happens in the future?
Another question is what will happen in other states that weren't so willing to embrace Obamacare. How will their premiums stack up? Some states are rushing to meet early deadlines set by the law and "are barely going to make it," the former director of the Massachusetts exchange told Businessweek.
There will be plenty of horror stories ahead. But for now, the Obama administration can look at California's numbers as one bright spot in a deluge of negativity about the law. A year from now, we'll have a much clearer sense of costs and what may or may not be working.
- Should cities sell off heirlooms to pay the bills?
- Space flight with DiCaprio auctioned for $1.5M
- Ripley's LA museum gets a little less macabre
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices closed out the month of August on a modestly higher note. The Russell 2000 (+0.6%) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) finished ahead of the S&P 500 (+0.3%), which extended its August gain to 3.8%. Blue chips lagged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) spending the bulk of the session in the red.
The final week of August represented one of the quietest stretches for the stock market so far this year. The first four sessions of the week produced the ... More
More Market News
These hot movers could rise by double digits in coming months.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'