KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Low Health Insurance Premiums May Come With High Deductibles

News accounts look at the price data for the new insurance marketplaces released by the administration Wednesday and note that consumers need to consider costs beyond the premiums. That's because some lower-cost policies may have stiffer copayments and deductibles layered on top of their monthly costs.

The Associated Press: Obamacare Trade-Off: Low Premium, High Deductible
You might be pleased with the low monthly premium for one of the new health insurance plans under President Barack Obama's overhaul, but the added expense of copayments and deductibles could burn a hole in your wallet. An independent analysis released Wednesday, on the heels of an administration report emphasizing affordable premiums, is helping to fill out the bottom line for consumers (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/25).

PBS NewsHour: From Bronze To Platinum Plans, What New Insurance Exchange Premiums Cost?
New details were released about coverage choices for consumers in the new health care exchanges. What will their premiums cost? Ray Suarez is joined by Louise Radnofsky of The Wall Street Journal to answer some of your most frequently asked questions (Suarez, 9/25).

CBS News: Obamacare Premiums Vary Greatly By State, City
The Obama administration is stepping up the pressure on uninsured Americans -- especially young Americans -- to sign up and buy health insurance on the new state exchanges that open next week. On Wednesday, it put out new estimates of the premiums. For instance, a 40-year-old earning $50,000 and choosing the medium-priced "silver" plan would pay, on average, $328 a month. Some will pay a lot more, some a lot less, depending on their location (Dahler, 9/25).

Politico: Exchanges May Have High Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Consumers may have to dig a little deeper into their wallets to pay for health care in the Obamacare insurance exchanges, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health. The study of six states suggests that consumers could face steep cost-sharing requirements — like co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles — layered on top of their monthly premiums (Cheney, 9/26).

Bloomberg: Obama’s $3,000 Health Law Premiums Test Limits Of Affordability
Health insurance under Obamacare will cost individuals at least $2,988 a year on average, a price that Republican opponents may target as out-of-reach for many Americans who don't qualify for U.S. subsidies. While the $249 monthly payment is intended to be discounted through tax credits, less than half of people now buying insurance on their own may get that help. The release of the data by the Obama administration comes just six days before the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges open for enrollment, and a day after Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, took the floor of the U.S. Senate to oppose the law (Wayne and Nussbaum, 9/25).

Stateline: Projected Obamacare Premiums Vary Widely Among States
The cost of health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges shows monthly premiums varying widely from state to state, depending on the kind of plan purchased and whether an individual or family qualifies for government subsidies. In the 36 states in which the federal government will run the exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday the average cost of the benchmark "silver plan" was lower than expected, at $328 a month. But averages are misleading, since virtually no one will pay that exact price (Povich, 9/25).

Marketplace: Obamacare Premiums: What The Price Leaves Out
The wait is over. The Obama administration has released a kind of price list for policies that will be sold on the 36 federally run health exchanges, when they open for enrollment on Tuesday.  Some of the prices are eye-popping. Although the average premium for an individual is $328 a month, a 27-year old in Dallas who makes about $25,000 a year, could buy a lower level bronze plan for $74 a month. But with insurance, as with many things, the premium is just the beginning (Gorenstein, 9/25).

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