Average ObamaCare premium rises to $408 per month


The average ObamaCare premium rose to $408 per month for 2016 plans, about a 9 percent increase from this time last year, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

However, 83 percent of ObamaCare enrollees pay far less than $408 because they get tax credits under the healthcare law. The average tax credit for 2016 is $294, meaning that the average share of the premiums that enrollees have to pay is $113. That is up $8 from the $105 people paid on average last year.

The size of the financial assistance from the government in turn increased as the overall premium level rose. The average tax credit increased from $268 to $294 per month. 

Premium increases for certain plans in some states were far higher, as much as 40 percent. But the report released Thursday shows that on average premium increases were less than that, and tax credits helped reduce the burden even more. 

The administration touted the tax credits as showing that plans are affordable, as the Jan. 31 deadline to sign up for 2016 coverage nears, and officials also emphasized that people can save money by actively shopping around for the best plan. 

“There are just 10 days left until the end of Open Enrollment for 2016 coverage and consumers should know that prices are affordable and it’s not too late to shop for the best plan,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement. “People coming to the Marketplace for coverage are active, engaged and shopping to save money.”

Thursday’s HHS report did not include information on the average deductible. High deductibles in ObamaCare plans have been highlighted by Republicans, and liberal advocacy groups are calling for action. 

Hillary Clinton has proposed a new $5,000 tax credit to help people with out of pocket costs like deductibles, on top of the financial assistance ObamaCare already provides. 

The numbers in Thursday’s report are also preliminary, given that more people are still enrolling ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline and that the numbers only cover the 38 states that use the federal system. 

Tags Hillary Clinton Sylvia Burwell

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