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Let’s Get Local: What is Affordable Health Insurance in Phoenix, AZ?

Let’s Get Local: What is Affordable Health Insurance in Phoenix, AZ?

Posted Nov 15, 2017 by Jenifer Dorsey

A closer look at 2018 premium rates, subsidies and exemptions

When it comes to affordability, health insurance in 2018 may be more cost-friendly than you may think. On one hand, rates for the most popular individual health plans increased an average of 32 percent nationwide.[1] On the other hand, rates for the same plans actually decreased 2 percent in Arizona.[2] While Phoenix may not boast the no-cost bronze plans available in some areas, you may find your subsidy makes them fairly low-cost.

Could you qualify for “free” health insurance?

Is this possible, and is it too good to be true? Yes, and no.

Let’s start with a quick refresher: Premium tax credits are available to individuals and families who purchase ACA plans through a state-based or federally facilitated exchange and have a household income of between 100 and 400 percent the federal poverty level (FPL).[3]

In the first installment of our “Let’s Get Local” series, we explained how premium tax credits—the income-based subsidies that help lower monthly health insurance rates—are calculated based on silver plan rates. As a result of this year’s disproportionate increases between bronze and silver plan premiums, subsidies may go further for some consumers. In fact, many could pay little or nothing for a bronze plan.[4]

The tables below show premiums by income and age bracket for the lowest-cost bronze plans available in Maricopa County and indicate how subsidies may lower them.

Lowest-Cost Bronze Plan in ZIP Code 85006

Monthly Premiums, Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC), and Deductibles

 

35-year-old

 

Income[5]

Estimated APTC[6]

Premium after APTC[7]

Plan Deductible (Single)

100% FPL

$12,060

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

200% FPL

$24,120

$361

$26.50

$6,800

300% FPL

$36,180

$201

$186.50

$6,800

400% FPL

$48,240

$105

$282.50

$6,800

Above 400% FPL

$48,241

$0

$387.50

$6,800

 

45-year-old

 

Income

Tax Credit

Premium

Plan Deductible (Single)

100% FPL

$12,060

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

200% FPL

$24,120

$450

$7.90

$6,800

300% FPL

$36,180

$289

$168.90

$6,800

400% FPL

$48,240

$193

$264.90

$6,800

Above 400% FPL

$48,241

$0

$457.90

$6,800

 

55-year-old

 

Income

Tax Credit

Premium

Plan Deductible (Single)

100% FPL

$12,060

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

May be eligible for AZ Medicaid

200% FPL

$24,120

$704.32

$2.83

$6,800

300% FPL

$36,180

$604

$103.15

$6,800

400% FPL

$48,240

$508

$199.15

$6,800

Above 400% FPL

$48,241

$0

$707.15

$6,800

 

“Free” health insurance? What’s the catch?

As you may notice while shopping around, the rule of thumb tends to be a lower monthly premium translates into a higher plan deductible.

For the lowest-cost bronze plan mentioned above, the annual deductible for a single individual is $6,400.[8] That is the amount you would pay out of pocket before your benefits fully take effect. So, while your monthly premium may seem relatively affordable—especially if it is free—you may have concerns about paying for healthcare should you actually need to use your plan.

That’s where additional health benefits come in. You may want to apply the money you save in monthly premium toward additional, low-cost health plans that can help with unexpected medical expenses. Three products you may want to consider as you make decisions about your family’s 2018 benefits include:

 

Supplemental plans – Fixed cash benefits for covered accidents and illnesses; use them to pay your deductible, household expenses and more.

 

Find out more about supplemental benefits

 

Telemedicine – Low-cost telehealth consultations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, wherever you’re connected.

 

Get Telemedicine for as little as $12.50/month

 

Hospital plans – Hospital, surgical and critical illness benefits that provide fixed-dollar reimbursement for covered medical expenses at specific durations.

 

Learn about hospital plans

 

Find your best benefits blend! A licensed producer can assist you in finding the right ACA plan as well as other affordable options.

 

Search for a local agent

Call the number at the top of your screen to speak with an advisor from HealtheDeals.com right now.

 

Up next in our “Let’s Get Local” series: A closer look at affordable health insurance alternatives and additional benefits for 2018.


Legal Disclaimers

[1] The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. “Change in Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier.” November 2017. https://www.kff.org/health-reform/state-indicator/change-in-average-marketplace-premiums-by-metal-tier/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

[2] Ibid.

[3] Internal Revenue Service. “Eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit.” IRS.gov. Last reviewed or updated Aug. 27, 2017. https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/eligibility-for-the-premium-tax-credit

[4] Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo and Meghan Hoyer. “’Obamacare’ Curveball: Free Insurance in 1,500-Plus Counties.” Associated Press. Oct. 20, 2017. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/obamacare-curveball-free-insurance-1500-counties-50818757

[5] Department of Health and Human Services. “Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines.” Federal Register. Jan. 31, 2017. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/31/2017-02076/annual-update-of-the-hhs-poverty-guidelines

[6] Rates and subsidies for health insurance plans, effective Jan. 1, 2018, calculated using IHC Specialty Benefits quoting software

[7] Ibid.

[8] Rates and subsidies for health insurance plans, effective Jan. 1, 2018, calculated using IHC Specialty Benefits quoting software