Shop Around: Subsidies May Offset Your 2018 Health Insurance Price Hike

Consumers could get cheaper coverage overall because higher subsidies are cutting out-of-pocket costs.

Consumers could get cheaper coverage overall because higher subsidies are cutting out-of-pocket costs.

It’s time to start shopping for health insurance if you’re one of the millions who buys it on an Affordable Care Act exchange.

Open enrollment for 2018 starts Wednesday, and new numbers released by the Trump Administration show that the average cost of a benchmark policy will be about 27 percent higher next year.

But that’s just the headline. The details suggest there’s good news for lots of people who are willing to shop around a bit for insurance.

“In theory anyone who gets a subsidy should do better next year,” says Charles Gaba, an analyst who runs the web site ACASignups.net. “I have one piece of advice: Shop around.”

An analysis released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that while the average premium is going up, the average subsidy to help defray that cost is going up even more. The average tax credit offered to people to cut the price of their insurance will rise in 2018 to $555 — up 45 percent from this year’s average credit of $382.

5 Points To Keep In Mind When Shopping For Health Insurance This Year

That means many people can take that larger tax credit and buy better insurance for less money. The HHS report shows that about 80 percent of people who buy insurance on the federal exchange could get a policy for $75 a month or less. Last year, policies that cheap were available to only about 71 percent of enrollees, the study shows.

And many people who didn’t qualify for subsidies in past years

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/30/560836963/shop-around-subsidies-may-offset-your-2018-health-insurance-price-hike?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=affordablecareact

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