Premiums in health insurance exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law will be lower than anticipated, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, “premiums nationwide will ... be around 16 percent lower than originally expected." The average price for basic health coverage will be $249 a month, not counting subsidies, in 48 states reviewed by the department. The health insurance exchanges, marketplaces for uninsured people and consumers who don't get health benefits from their employers, are scheduled to launch on Oct. 1 for an enrollment period that runs through the end of March for 2014 coverage. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters on Tuesday, that the new options will make health insurance work within their budget "for millions of Americans.” The Washington Post said the report “showed significant variation in the insurance premiums.” “The unsubsidized monthly premiums could be as low as $70 for an individual and as high as $1,200 for a moderate plan for a family of four,” according to the newspaper. Premiums will vary depending on an individual’s income. The administration report also found that 56 percent of the nearly 41 million uninsured American people eligible for the marketplaces could pay monthly premiums of $100 or less. Republicans in Congress are currently pushing to defund the Obama’s health reform law while Democrats insist it’s not possible. The stalemate has made the possibility of a government shutdown inevitable. The ramifications of a possible shutdown include furlough for federal workers, suspension of federal agencies and shutting down national parks and museums.