On Monday, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford released premium information for the 71 qualified health insurance plans to be sold on the individual market in the new Health Insurance Marketplace.
Enrollment begins Oct. 1. Rates and coverage will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Bradford said the approved premiums at levels as much as 25 percent below what had initially been requested for the individual market.
“The plans that will be offered in the Health Insurance Marketplace are new insurance products,” said Commissioner Bradford, in a statement. “All plans meet the requirement that health insurance coverage be offered to everyone, even those with pre-existing medical conditions. The plans cover the 10 essential health benefits, have no annual or lifetime limits and have no ratings on health factors.”
According to Bradford most Arkansas will qualify for tax credits for premium assistance, meaning few Arkansans will pay the total premium amount.
He claims the change in premiums is "generally lower than what was expected by independent forecasters."
Insurance premiums for all individuals will vary only by age, geography, family size, and tobacco use. Pre-existing conditions are no longer factored into premium costs.
Information from the state press release:
Three levels of plans - bronze, silver, and gold - will be available. Bronze plans are likely to have lower premiums but higher
out-of-pocket costs if medical services are provided. In addition, plans with high deductibles are available for young adults under age 30 and certain other eligible individuals.
For a 30-year-old individual in Arkansas, the average base premium of plans to be sold in the Marketplace will be $284.74 a month. Here are examples of how that premium will be divided depending on annual income of the individual:
•$17,235 income: Monthly tax credit, $227.29; Monthly consumer payment, $57.45.
•$22,980 income: Monthly tax credit, $164.10; Monthly consumer payment, $120.65.
•$28,725 income: Monthly tax credit, $92.04; Monthly consumer payment, $192.70.
For two 40-year-old adults with two children, the average base premium of plans to be sold in the Marketplace will be $948.82. Here are examples of how that premium will be divided depending on the annual household income:
•$35,325 income: Monthly tax credit, $831.07; Monthly consumer payment, $117.75.
•$47,100 income: Monthly tax credit, $701.55; Monthly consumer payment, $247.28.
•$58,875 income: Monthly tax credit, $553.87; Monthly consumer payment, $394.95.
An Arkansas family of four with an average income of $55,444 is expected to see their out-of-pocket premiums decrease by more than 20 percent after the implementation of all health reforms.
For all rate listings, visit http://hbe.arkansas.gov/InsRates.pdf.