In Connecticut, what typical people pay for public exchange plan health coverage has been falling.
Managers of Access Health CT, a state-based Affordable Care Act exchange, say ACA subsidy programs have wiped away the effects of premium increases for many of the subsidy users who have renewed their coverage.
The ACA exchange system offers a premium tax credit subsidy program for Connecticut residents who earn from 100 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. In Connecticut, the premium subsidies are available to individuals with “modified adjusted gross income” levels of $11,880 to $47,520.
The exchange system also offers a cost-sharing reduction subsidy program for state residents who earn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level. That program helps eligible exchange users with deductibles, co-payment requirements and coinsurance bills.
The effects of the ACA subsidy programs have created a big gap between premium increases for Connecticut residents who qualify for the subsidies and Connecticut residents who don’t.
About 9,455 of the residents who have been using exchange plan coverage this year have already decided to keep their coverage in 2017, according to an enrollment presentation.
For the relatively high-income exchange users who have to pay all of the bills themselves, the average monthly premium has increased 19 percent, to $477.
For middle-income users, who qualify for the premium subsidy but not help with cost-sharing bills, the average premium has increased 20 percent, to $631. But the subsidy has reduced the average amount those users actually pay out of pocket for the renewal coverage 1.1 percent, to about $214.
For the lowest-income users, who qualify for both premium subsidy and the cost-sharing reduction subsidy, the average premium has increased 19 percent, to $630. But the premium subsidy has reduced the average amount of cash those users really pay for their coverage by 3 percent, to $89.
ACA exchange cost details
The ACA open enrollment period for individual major medical coverage started Nov. 1, and is set to run through Jan. 31.
The enrollment period is still young, so Connecticut exchange managers are not yet publishing clear-cut year-over-year enrollment comparison figures.
The 2016 Connecticut exchange users who have rushed to renew their coverage might be the ones lucky enough to enjoy the lowest net cost increases.