KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

HHS Report Details Premium Subsidy Use And Cost

Nearly 9 of 10 people who bought coverage on the health law marketplaces got government assistance to pay for the premium, and the average out-of-pocket premium cost was $69.

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Subsidies Push Cost Of Health Law Above Projections
The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans who bought health coverage on the federal government’s healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums (Levey, 6/17).

McClatchy: New HHS Report Touts Federal Marketplace Premiums And Plan Availability
A new report by the Obama administration suggests that most people who purchased government subsidized health insurance on found affordable coverage and a wide selection of health plans on the federal insurance marketplace. Those who used tax credits to purchase "silver" coverage on -- which covers 70 percent of health care costs -- paid an average premium of $69 per month, according to the report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And 69 percent who used the tax credits to buy federal marketplace coverage had premiums of less than $100 per month, while nearly half -- 46 percent -- paid less than $50 per month (Pugh, 6/18).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: HHS Releases New Details About 2014 Marketplace Premiums, Subsidies
The report was one in a series of ongoing updates from HHS about enrollment in the online exchanges or marketplaces. Federal officials have said more than 8 million people signed up for coverage under the health law. The document analyzed trends in the 36 states where the federal government is running the online marketplace, or exchange. It did not include similar data for the 14 states and the District of Columbia that are running their own exchanges because the data is not available, according to the report. The document did not include data on how many people who enrolled in coverage have actually paid their premiums, which they must do before coverage begins. Some critics of the program have suggested that many people signing up for coverage have not paid for it and shouldn’t be considered part of the 8 million touted by the government (Carey, 6/18).

Politico Pro: HHS Reports Shows ACA Premiums Varied Greatly By State
Premiums for people getting subsidized coverage on Obamacare exchanges swung wildly from state to state, according to data released Wednesday morning by the Obama administration. Average monthly payments ranged from $23 in Mississippi to $148 in New Jersey after tax credits were factored in. The average monthly premium for subsidized coverage in the 36 states relying on the federal exchange,, for enrollment was $82 — and it was $69 for "silver" plans, the mid-level plans that most people chose. But the report makes clear that the health law is more about each state's experience rather than the country as a whole (Cheney, 6/18).

The Fiscal Times: Average Obamacare Subsidy--$3,312
Nearly two months after Obamacare’s first open enrollment closed, we finally have a clearer picture of what people are paying for the policies they bought on the federal health insurance exchange.  Monthly premiums for silver plans – the standard insurance policy sold on the exchanges – cost an average of $345 a month this year for people who did not qualify for subsidies, a new analysis from the administration shows. However, for the overwhelming majority of Obamacare enrollees (87 percent) who did qualify for financial assistance, the average monthly premium on the silver plan costs about $69. That's an average tax credit of about $276 a month, or $3,312 a year (Ehley, 6/18).

Georgia Health News: Many Georgians Pay Bargain ACA Rates, Report Says
Georgia’s average premium for insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchange is the second-lowest among the 36 states using the federally run marketplace, according to a report released Wednesday. Georgians who qualified for subsidies or discounts for coverage are paying an average of $54 per month, the report said. Their average premium is $341, but they also get the immediate subsidy or tax credit of $287. Only Mississippi, with an average premium of $23 a month, is lower (Miller, 6/18).

Texas Tribune: Subsidized ACA Enrollees In Texas Paying Lower-Than-Average Premiums
Texans who received financial assistance to purchase health coverage through the federal insurance exchange are paying less in monthly premiums than individuals in most other states using that online marketplace, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Texas, like dozens of other states with Republican leadership, declined to create its own state-based insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, relying on a federally managed marketplace instead (Ura,6/17).

Meanwhile, regarding politics and fact checking -

The Washington Post's The Fact Checker: Old Obamacare Claims Don't Age Well In New Crossroads GPS Ad
This advertisement from the pro-GOP group Crossroads GPS is almost like an oldies record of top tunes lambasting the Affordable Care Act—and it has the same dated feel as well. Just about everything in this ad has been called into question before, with the exception of its opening scenes—which highlight that our colleagues at PolitiFact had deemed President Obama’s promise that you could keep your health-care plan the "Lie of the Year." No argument about that – Obama’s statement was also one of the Biggest Pinocchios of 2013—but even the Lie of the Year reference seems dated. (We have seen it in what feels like a gadzillion ads.) Let’s look at the other elements of this ad (Kessler, 6/17).

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