The next phase of the Affordable Care Act is set to roll out on Tuesday, when the insurance exchanges go online across the country. Yesterday, the Obama administration laid out the first in-depth look at what insurance premiums provided through the federally-run insurance exchanges will look like in 36 states. (The other states opted to manage their own exchanges.)
Earlier today, the New York Times released a handy little chart that plots the states’ insurance-premium numbers side by side. For each state, it looked at the cost of monthly premiums for the second-cheapest of the “silver” tier plans offered through the exchanges. And to make it an apples-to-apples comparison, it teased out figures for premiums in each state for a family of four (one 40-year-old adult, one 38-year-old adult and two children under 18) and a 27-year-old individual. Since the ACA will provide special subsidies for people and families making less than a predetermined threshold (under $50K for families and $25K for individuals), it also compared the premium differences for insureds who fall into different income brackets.
So how does Pennsylvania stack up? According to these parameters, PA will provide the seventh cheapest insurance premiums for families who don’t qualify for subsidies at $675 a month, and the sixth cheapest premiums for non-subsidized individuals at $187 a month. The averages under the federally-run exchanges are $774 for families and $214 for individuals. And for those who qualify for subsidies, families will pay $282 a month and individuals $145.
In New Jersey, families without subsidies will shell out $943 a month for the second-cheapest of the silver plans, while individuals will pay $260—both well above the national averages. The subsidized figures in Jersey are the same as in PA.
Wyoming’s policies carry the biggest price tags, at $1,237 for non-subsidized families and $342 for non-subsidized individuals. Tennessee comes in with the best bargains: $584 a month for families without subsidies, and $161 for individuals.
Before you start making plans to move, know this: These figures are state averages, and actual costs may vary (sometimes wildly) depending on where you live in a state. The Times article includes an example for California, which is broken up into 19 “rating regions.” A middle-aged adult living in LA would pay $240 a month for the cheapest silver plan, while that same person, if he lived in Sacramento, would pay $330.
Here’s another jarring example:
In New York, a premium charged in New York City might be more than 80 percent higher than the charge in Rochester — $611 a month against $337, for the same level of coverage offered by the same insurer. Even within Rochester, prices for the same level of coverage might range from $218 to $366 a month.
For more on how ACA will work, with input from local experts, check out our Ultimate Guide to Obamacare.