If you’re a middle-income wage earner under age 65, and you’re not eligible for health insurance coverage through your employer, Medicaid or Medicare, you may be eligible for tax credit subsidies if you purchase health insurance through new Health Insurance Exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.
While health insurance will be available through an Exchange on January 1, 2014, consumers can begin selecting plans and enrolling on October 1, 2013. There are an estimated 1.5 million uninsured Ohioans who can use the Exchange to shop for health insurance coverage.
However, it’s unclear how much Ohioans will pay for these plans.
The website of the Kaiser Foundation includes a calculator that allows people to get an estimate, based on income and family size. However, premiums and eligibility requirements vary from state to state, and, as the news site Politico reports, estimates also vary according to who’s doing the math.
The report cited an Aug. 1 news release issue by the Republican-led Ohio Insurance Department, stating customers in the Buckeye State could expect 41 percent increases on average for individual health care plans in 2014, compared to this year. The Insurance Department reported that the average premium in the individual market is currently $236.29 per month and could go to $336.44 next year.
To the contrary, the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute for Policy Research reports the opposite, saying that Obamacare will reduce prices for individuals in Ohio by an average of 30 percent, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Institute, which has criticized Obamacare, says it checked and re-checked its calculations and that differences appear to be due to different methodologies.
Meanwhile, other states, including New York, are estimating rate reductions. Some Obamacare supporters say that conservative regulators aren’t accounting for subsidies that many people may receive, as well as the ability to buy less comprehensive, lower-cost insurance plans on the new Exchanges.