Federal Health Officials: Rates On Public Exchanges Are Lower Than Expected

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People who buy a health plan on a state-run insurance exchange this fall for coverage next year will likely pay less than federal budget officials anticipated, according to a new report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

At issue are individual and small-group health plans that will be available through online marketplaces called “exchanges,” created by each state as a result of the Affordable Care Act, which is sometimes called Obamacare.

A federal analysis of rates available on public exchanges in 10 different states and Washington D.C. shows that they are, on average, 18 percent less than an estimate in March 2012 by the Congressional Budget Office.

Federal health officials contend that lower-than-expected rates in some states constitute a national trend, which means, on average, premiums for health insurance will be lower in other states, too.

It’s too early to say if that will be the case in Connecticut. State insurance regulators are still reviewing health plans submitted by five different insurers.

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About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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