A closer look at 2018 premium rates, subsidies and exemptions
When it comes to affordability, health insurance in The Lone Star State may be more cost-friendly than you may think. On one hand, rates for the most popular individual health plans increased an average of 47 percent in Texas—compared with 34 percent nationwide.1 On the other hand, a side effect of these rate hikes, is that 80 percent of counties in Texas will have no-cost bronze plans—that’s right, essentially “free” health insurance.2
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 Dallas County and indicate how subsidies may lower them.
Lowest-Cost Bronze Plan in ZIP Code 75229
Monthly Premiums, Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC), and Deductibles
|Income5||Estimated APTC6||Premium after APTC7||Plan Deductible (Single)|
|Above 400% FPL||$48,241||$0||$265.68||$6,400|
|Income||Tax Credit||Premium||Plan Deductible (Single)|
|Above 400% FPL||$48,241||$0||$313.94||$6,400|
|Income||Tax Credit||Premium||Plan Deductible|
|Above 400% FPL||$48,241||$0||$484.83||$6,400|
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.
2019 Health Insurance Open Enrollment:
Nov 1 - Dec 15
What's New for the ACA + Open Enrollment this Year?
Get the latest news and updates.
Do You Qualify For A Subsidy?
Use the Obamacare Calculator to find out.
Is Obamacare Mandatory in 2019?
The tax penalty is repealed beginning Jan. 1, 2019. That means you can explore alternative health insurance options without paying the individual mandate tax.
Got questions about the ACA (also known as Obamacare)? Get the answers here!
Individual Health Insurance in Your State
When it comes to enrolling in Obamacare, or any individual health insurance plan like short-term medical or dental insurance, you'll have to validate the costs and options available in your state.