Pa. health marketplace ‘working’ for enrollees

68% had premiums of $100 or less: report

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Pennsylvanians who selected midrange coverage “silver” plans in the new private health insurance marketplace created as part of the federal Affordable Care Act paid an average monthly premium of $60 with tax credits, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Overall for all four plans — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — 68 percent of enrollees had premiums of $100 or less after factoring in tax credits and 47 percent found plans with premiums of $50 a month or less, the report said.

“What we’re finding is that the marketplace is working for Pennsylvanians,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a release. “Consumers have more choices, and they’re paying less for their premiums.”

More than 300,000 Pennsylvanians have signed up for a marketplace health plan since enrollment began Oct. 1. Nationally, the number of enrollees has surpassed 8 million who HHS says have collectively saved nearly $1.2 billion in premiums from what insurers had originally sought.

The exchanges are an integral part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, designed to give people, and particularly the uninsured, access to low-cost health insurance.

The tax credits for lower income enrollees are a major factor in plan affordability, as the HHS report said; Pennsylvanians who were eligible for tax credits saw their monthly premiums decrease by 74 percent, from $330 to $84.

Information about the tax credits, including eligibility requirements, can be found at the IRS website:​uac/​Newsroom/​Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Premium-Tax-Credit.

Steve Twedt: or 412-263-1963.

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