With state health insurance exchanges set to open on October 1, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services has finally released some of the rates through a 15 page Info Brief. According to the brief, the state exchanges will feature different levels of coverage, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and catastrophic (only available to people under 30 and people under a certain income threshold); with multiple plans available at each level and prices that will vary state to state.

The following table represents state average Premiums and Qualified Health Plan Choices:
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Health and Human Services

Those choosing to enroll in the state exchanges will be able to chose from multiple available plans at varying prices at each coverage level. Those levels as described by Healthcare.gov:

Catastrophic Policies 

- Only available to people younger than 30-years-old and people with an income level below a certain threshold

- Three primary care visits per year at no cost

- Free Preventative Benefits 

- A catastrophic health insurance plan covers essential health benefits but has a very high deductible. This means it provides a kind of "safety net" coverage in case you have an accident or serious illness. Catastrophic plans usually do not provide coverage for services like prescription drugs or shots. Premiums for catastrophic plans may be lower than traditional health insurance plans, but deductibles are usually much higher. This means you must pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket before full coverage kicks in.

Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Policies

All Marketplace insurance plan categories offer the same set of essential health benefits.The categories do not reflect the quality or amount of care the plans provide.

The category you choose affects how much your premium costs each month and what portion of the bill you pay for things like hospital visits or prescription medications. It also affects your total out-of-pocket costs —the total amount you’ll spend for the year if you need lots of care.

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recommends the gold and platinum plans for only those expecting a lot of doctor visits or regular prescriptions.

For more information on the exchanges, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/.


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