By Elise Viebeck - 09/17/13 02:00 PM EDT
Millions of people entering ObamaCare's new insurance marketplaces will pay less than $100 per month for healthcare coverage, according to a new federal report.
The study by the Health and Human Services Department found that about 6.4 million people would be eligible for $100-or-less coverage because of ObamaCare's tax credits for middle-income families.
The figures apply mainly to customers purchasing "silver" plans on the new marketplaces, which will launch Oct. 1. Researchers used data from the Census Bureau to estimate how many families would qualify for tax credits.
This group includes 12.4 million people who will be newly eligible for Medicaid in states that choose to expand it.
Supporters and opponents of the healthcare law are battling over predictions about how much ObamaCare coverage will ultimately cost.
Several major studies have said the exchange premiums will rise in some states but not overall.
Republicans argue that evidence of "rate shock" in states like Ohio and Georgia will become a trend throughout the country.
The rates will be published in full on Oct. 1.
The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits for people making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which equals to $94,200 for a family of four.
The Medicaid expansion would provide coverage to those making up to 133 percent of the poverty level, which is about $32,000 for a family of four. Twenty-six states are currently pursuing the policy in some form.
The report urged the other states to embrace the expansion, arguing that with 100 percent participation, nearly 8 in 10 uninsured people would be eligible for coverage costing less than $100.
"The healthcare law is making health insurance more affordable," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
"With more than half of all uninsured Americans able to get coverage at $100 or less, the healthcare law is delivering the quality, affordable coverage people are looking for."