Report: Affordable Marketplace Premiums

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October 3rd, 2014

Blog-Post-10.3.14A new Commonwealth Fund Report has shed light on the affordability of health insurance plans bought through the marketplace. The report, Are Americans Finding Affordable Coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplaces?, reflects the finding of a survey that was conducted across a representative sample of over 4,000 individuals. The survey tracked people's experiences shopping for affordable health insurance coverage in the marketplaces during the first open enrollment period. While the majority of marketplace shoppers continue to rate experience as poor, more and more are finding comprehensive coverage with affordable marketplace premiums.

Satisfaction with Marketplace Premiums

According to the report, 61% of adults who purchased health insurance through the marketplace are paying premiums that are considered easy to afford. For lower income adults (under $28,725 for an individual), premiums for a single marketplace policy remain in line with many premiums for employer-sponsored plans.

Sara Collins, VP of Health Care Coverage and Access at the Commonwealth Fund co-authored the report and stated, "The survey findings show that people with lower incomes are finding health insurance coverage through the marketplaces that is comparable to employer plans in affordability and cost-protection."

ACA Subsidies at Work

She continued, "The subsidies are doing what they were designed to do - make comprehensive coverage attainable for low and moderate-income families without employer-based health insurance."

As a result of the subsidies in place, about 70% of low or moderate-income families whom have purchased marketplace coverage are paying no premium or premiums less than $125 coverage.

Marketplace User Experience

While cost satisfaction continued to rise, user experience remains below par according to the report. 62% of adults who visited the marketplace rated their overall experience as fair or poor.

It remains evident that the marketplace is still in need of further improvement, however affordability is the ultimate goal for the ACA. To learn more about how the health law works and keep up to date with the latest news surrounding premiums, costs, and spending, subscribe to our monthly Health Insights newsletter here.


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