KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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HHS: Average Costs Of Health Exchange Premiums Rose, But Most Enrollees Pay Far Less

The Department of Health and Human Services reports that premiums for Obamacare plans increased to $408 per month, about 9 percent more than last year. The vast majority of people with this coverage, though, pay far less because they receive subsidies. Meanwhile, a federal proposal would create standardized marketplace plans and consumers could see their out-of-pocket costs drop.

The Hill: Average ObamaCare Premium Rises To $408 Per Month
The average ObamaCare premium rose to $408 per month for 2016 plans, about a 9 percent increase from this time last year, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services. However, 83 percent of ObamaCare enrollees pay far less than $408 because they get tax credits under the healthcare law. The average tax credit for 2016 is $294, meaning that the average share of the premiums that enrollees have to pay is $113. That is up $8 from the $105 people paid on average last year. (Sullivan, 1/21)

Kaiser Health News: New Federal Standards For Marketplace Plans May Reduce Out-Of-Pocket Spending
Some consumers who buy coverage on the health insurance marketplaces in 2017 could see their out-of-pocket costs drop significantly under a federal proposal to create standardized plans, a recent analysis found. The government wants to create six plan options at the bronze, silver and gold metal levels, each with standard deductibles, maximum out-of-pocket spending limits and copayments or coinsurance for various services. (Andrews, 1/22)

Also, news outlets report on the latest enrollment tallies and regulations in Maryland, Connecticut, Georgia and Wisconsin —

The Baltimore Sun: Health Enrollment Up 60 Percent As Deadline Nears
The number of Marylanders who have signed up for private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act is 60 percent higher than last year, and state health officials are making a final push for more ahead of the Jan. 31 enrollment deadline. About 155,000 have enrolled in private plans, surpassing a goal of 150,000, according to officials with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, the state's online insurance marketplace. (McDaniels, 1/21)

The Connecticut Mirror: With 10 Days Left, ConnectiCare Leads Exchange Sign-Ups
ConnectiCare continues to lead the market among customers of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, with 52 percent of the nearly 109,000 people signed up so far for 2016 coverage. As of Wednesday, 108,830 people signed up for private insurance through the exchange, Access Health CT, including 15,214 new customers, officials said Thursday. The open enrollment period for private insurance runs through Jan. 31. (Levin Becker, 1/21)

Georgia Health News: Exchange Enrollment Shows Strong Atlanta Area Numbers
Georgia’s exchange sign-ups have nearly equaled last year’s open enrollment total, with the deadline more than a week away. Federal health officials reported that as of Jan. 16, 535,918 Georgians have signed up for health insurance through the exchange or were automatically renewed for coverage in 2016. (Miller, 1/21)

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