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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Premiums for insurance plans offered in the Affordable Care Act exchanges will be lower than expected, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation study of the 17 states — and the District of Columbia — that have published their rates.

“For example, we estimate that the latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office imply that the premium for a 40-year-old in the second lowest cost silver plan would average $320 per month nationally,” the report states. “Fifteen of the eighteen rating areas we examined have premiums below this level, suggesting that the cost of coverage for consumers and the federal budgetary cost for tax credits will be lower than anticipated.”

A typical 25-year-old earning $25,000 or less can expect to pay under $100 a month in premiums once the tax credits allotted to those earning 400 percent of the poverty level are factored in. South Dakota reported the highest after-subsidy monthly premium for a 25-year-old at $126; Vermont was the lowest at $0 a month.

Young people who earn more than 250 percent of the poverty level may see higher rates in the exchanges than they currently pay. But the plans offered in 2014 cannot really be compared to plans offered in the past, as no one can be rejected or charged more for pre-existing conditions. In addition, insurers will have to meet new standards, including having to spend 80-85 percent of the premiums charged on actual care.

This is excellent news for Obamacare supporters, who know that key to health care reform’s success is getting young people to sign up for the exchanges. Also reassuring to supporters is a new poll conducted by The Morning Consult that finds that young people not only are more likely to approve of the law, they’re more likely to sign up for coverage through the marketplaces.

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