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Infographic: How Many Cups of Coffee Would Columbus' Lowest-Cost Obamacare Premium Buy?

Posted Nov 04, 2016 by Jenifer Dorsey

How much will health insurance rates go up in Columbus?

Health insurance rates for 2017 plans will go up an average of 25 percent, nationwide. In Ohio, as of late-October, the weighted average rate increase across plans was 17.33 percent.[1],[2]

Average rate increases could be even lower for Ohioans living in Franklin County, which includes Columbus. Those who enroll in coverage through HealthCare.gov, the state’s federally facilitated exchange will have 38 plan options – 13 bronze, 19 silver, six gold. The lowest-cost bronze plan available in 2017, which is offered by MedMutual, will cost 8.85 percent more than the lowest-cost bronze plan available to Columbus residents in 2016. That plan was offered by CareSource.

Ohio rate increases and middle-class individuals, families

To see how changes to the cost of Obamacare plans could impact middle-class individuals and families who do not qualify for subsidies, we obtained quotes for the lowest-cost bronze 2016 and 2017 plans available in Franklin County through HealthCare.gov.

We found premium increases of 8.85 percent across the board for the brackets we quoted: a 35-year-old male nonsmoker; a 45-year-old male nonsmoker; and a family of four with a two male and two female members, all of them nonsmoking.[3]

We broke down these rates and increases, and then compared them with average prices for other common expenses.

 

 

Is there anything Columbus residents can do to lower health insurance costs?

Under the Affordable Care Act, if the only health insurance plans available to someone exceed 8.16 percent of their income (this is the amount for 2017), then they may qualify for a hardship exemption from the individual shared responsibility provision and thereby can avoid the tax penalty.[4]

In Franklin County, the annual premium for a 35-year-old who purchases the lowest-cost bronze plan is $2,803. And, if this person were to earn between $20,000 and $35,000, they could be eligible for a tax credit that would reduce that annual premium to $342 to $2,689. There is no income scenario in which a hardship exemption would apply to this particular individual.

Other ways to lower healthcare costs in Ohio

Even with an exemption, consumers may want to consider some form of healthcare benefits to help lower out-of-pocket exposure to medical bills. Anyone who claims an exemption or shops for individual and family health plans in Ohio’s private market or through the federally facilitated exchange may want to consider working with a local, licensed health insurance agent. These individuals can help you navigate coverage options, including Obamacare plans as well as supplemental coverage such as critical illness, dental, hospital indemnity, and medical gap products to help lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

 

Find an agent in Ohio.

 


 

This document is for general informational purposes only. While we have attempted to provide current and accurate information, this information is provided "as is" and we make no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind. External users should seek professional advice from their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.

[1] Gaba, Charles. “Final Touches: Approved Unsubsidized Rate Hikes for Washington, South Carolina, Ohio.” ACASignups.net. Oct. 26, 2016. http://acasignups.net/16/10/27/final-touches-approved-unsubsidized-rate-hikes-washington-south-carolina-ohio

[2] Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo. “Obama Health Plan Hit by Double-Digit Premium Hikes.” AP. Oct. 25, 2016. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4e2846e6f17a4c4482d5b8c1243b85dd/obama-health-plan-hit-double-digit-premium-hikes

[3] Rates acquired through HealthCare.gov and INSXCloud on Oct. 31, 2016. 2016 CareSource Just4Me Bronze (HMO) rates – 35-year-old male, nonsmoker: $214.61 per month; 45-year-old male, nonsmoker: $253.60 per month; family of four, including two parents (a male and a female, both 45 years old), a 7-year-old daughter, and a 13-year-old son: $730.24 per month. 2017 MedMutual · Market HMO 7150 – OhioHealth (Bronze HMO) rates – 35-year-old male, nonsmoker: $233.60 per month; 45-year-old male, nonsmoker: $276.03 per month; family of four, including two parents (a male and a female, both 45 years old), a 7-year-old daughter, and a 13-year-old son: $794.84 per month.

[4] Internal Revenue Service. 26 CFR 601.105: Examination of returns and claims for refund, credit, or abatement; determination of correct tax liability. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-16-24.pdf

METAL GAP
THIS PLAN IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE MINIMAL ESSENTIAL COVERAGE AS DEFINED BY THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA). ENROLLING IN AND MAINTAINING THIS PLAN WILL NOT EXEMPT YOU FROM THE SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PAYMENT (TAX) THAT MAY APPLY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PLAN WITH ACA-COMPLIANT COVERAGE.

HOSPITAL INDEMNITY
THIS IS A SUPPLEMENT TO HEALTH INSURANCE AND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE REQUIRED BY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) LACK OF MAJOR MEDICAL COVERAGE (OR OTHER MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE) MAY RESULT IN AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT WITH YOUR TAXES.

DENTAL
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About The IHC Group
Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC) is a holding company that is principally engaged in underwriting, administering and/or distributing group and individual disability, specialty and supplemental health, pet, and life insurance through its subsidiaries since 1980. The IHC Group owns three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company) and IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., which is a technology-driven insurance sales and marketing company that creates value for insurance producers, carriers and consumers (both individuals and small businesses) through a suite of proprietary tools and products (including ACA plans and small group medical stop-loss). All products are placed with highly rated carriers.

IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.
IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., doing business as Health eDeals Insurance Solutions is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Health eDeals markets products via general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers. For more information about Health eDeals visit http://www.HealtheDeals.com.