President Obama spoke Thursday morning on the savings many Americans are seeing as rebates for their health insurance premiums, but also about new information released today by the Department of Health and Human Services showing competitive premium rates in the new health insurance exchanges. Here's what he had to say.
"[I]n states that are working hard to make sure this law delivers for their people, what we're seeing is that consumers are getting a hint of how much money they're potentially going to save because of this law. In states like California, Oregon, Washington, new competition, new choices, market forces are pushing costs down.The new report shows that so far, proposed premiums in the health insurance exchanges are coming in lower than expected in HHS's and CBO's projections. So far, data is available for 11 states, and in those state the lowest cost "silver" plan, essentially the median plan, is 18 percent cheaper than HHS predicted. That cost is averaged at $321 for that plan, compared with a current cost of $450 a month for comparable plans. For many, $321 is still going to be a stretch, but that's the cost before the federal tax subsidy is applied. Individuals making about $15,000 to $45,000 and families up to about $94,000 for a family of four, will have that cost offset by the tax subsidy.
Just yesterday, state officials in New York announced that average premiums for consumers who buy insurance in their new marketplace will be at least 50 percent lower next year than they are today. Think about that—50 percent lower. [...]
So if you already buy insurance on the individual market, meaning that you don’t get insurance through a big group plan through your employer, that could mean thousands of dollars a year that can go towards paying a mortgage, or putting a kid through college, or saving for retirement. And what this means is that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who don’t have insurance will finally be able to afford it -- because these exchanges, this big pool is going to reduce the cost, and you may qualify for health care tax credits; middle-class families will potentially qualify for these credits that will bring the cost down even more.
The bottom line: It appears that the "rate shock" critics of Obamacare have been counting on to give them ammunition isn't going to materialize for people who are purchasing their insurance through the exchanges.