About 80 percent of marketplace consumers in Ohio qualify for the income-based subsidies, which increase if premiums increase so individuals and families don’t have to bear the full brunt of the price hikes passed on by insurance companies to cover the medical costs of their policyholders.
In Ohio, the average premium for the benchmark Silver plan after tax credits will be about $142 next year for a 27-year-old non-smoker earning about $25,000 a year — about the same as last year, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In addition, more than half of all marketplace consumers in Ohio will be able to sign up for health plans with premiums under $75 a month, and 60 percent will be able to find plans with premiums below $100 a month when open enrollment begins next Tuesday, HHS officials said.
“Thanks to financial assistance, most current marketplace consumers in Ohio will be able to find plans with premiums between $50 and $100 per month,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Many uninsured Ohioans could also qualify for financial assistance, as could 64,000 Ohioans currently paying full price for off-marketplace coverage.”
About a quarter-million Ohioans signed up for marketplace coverage, commonly referred to as Obamacare, last year. But an additional 64,000 state residents purchased individual health coverage outside the marketplace, forfeiting the tax credits, according to HHS data.
While off-marketplace plans must comply with the same minimum benefit requirements and non-discrimination rules as marketplace plans, the federal tax subsidies are only available in the marketplace.
According to a recent study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, average premiums and deductibles for individual and small-group health plans purchased in the marketplace this year were nearly 13 percent cheaper than for plans sold outside the marketplace.
Ohio consumers can already visit HealthCare.gov to check out their options for 2017 coverage during open enrollment, which ends Jan. 31.