ACA plan-shopping saves money, report says
- Individuals enrolled in the lowest-cost silver plans through HealthCare.gov who shop around may put off a new premium that could raise costs by an average of 15%, a Kaiser Family Foundation report stated.
- About 66% of individuals who purchased health coverage through HealthCare.gov selected a silver-level plan, The Washington Post reported, adding that of those consumers, 50% bought the lowest cost plans available.
- The study found a hypothetical 40-year-old with who shifts to the new lowest-cost silver plan offered in their area could save an average of $322 in 2016, according to American Health Line.
The KFF report comes on the heels of HHS estimates late October that showed consumers who changed to a plan at the same level of coverage saved nearly $400 annually after tax credits from 2014 to 2015, compared to what they would have paid if they had remained in the same plan.
HHS also estimated consumers who change to the lowest premium plan at the same level can expect to save an average of $610 annually before tax credits in the current enrollment period
KFF examined premiums sold through HealthCare.gov in 2,635 counties. It found plan-switching could save as much as $500 for some.
“The silver plan that was the lowest cost plan in 2015 is not guaranteed to be the lowest-cost option in 2016,” the report stated. In 2016, the lowest-cost, silver-level plan will change in 73% (1,721) of the counties reviewed, according to the report.
“Enrollees who switch plans to a new low-cost silver option, though, should not only consider their monthly premium, but also the plan’s cost sharing structure, its provider network, and drug coverage,” the report concluded. “Although both plans may be in the same metal level and therefore will have the same average value across the enrolled population, depending on personal health needs, one enrollee may fare better in one silver plan than another.”
- American Health Line Study: Switching Exchange Plans Could Save Consumers Money
- The Washington Post Rate hikes widespread for popular HealthCare.gov insurance unless people switch plans
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