Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections – Los Angeles Times

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The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans who bought health coverage on the federal government’s healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums.

That assistance helped lower premiums for consumers who bought health coverage on the federal marketplaces by 76% on average, according to the new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Premiums that normally would have cost $346 a month on average instead cost consumers just $82, with the federal government picking up the balance of the bill.

While the generous subsidies helped consumers, they also risk inflating the new health law’s price tag in its first year.

The report suggests that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought health plans on marketplaces run by the federal government, even accounting for the fact that many consumers signed up for coverage in late March and will only receive subsidies for part of the year.

That total does not count the additional cost of providing coverage to millions of additional consumers who bought coverage in states that ran their own marketplaces, including California, Connecticut, Maryland and New York. About a third of the 8 million people who signed up for coverage this year used a state-run marketplace.

Read complete article via Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections – Los Angeles Times.

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