The Ohio Department of Insurance yesterday released the rates for individual health insurance plans to be sold on the new state marketplace (formerly known as an exchange) and said the average premium will be 41 percent higher than the 2013 rates (Source: “Ohio insurance department claims Obamacare premium rates to rise 41 percent,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 2, 2013).
The average 2014 monthly premium rate of $332.58 for individuals that ODI announced did not include federal premium subsidies that will be available to those earning less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 80 to 90 percent of Americans using the marketplace will be eligible for subsidies.
The Ohio premiums still must be approved by federal officials before the health care exchanges open this fall for coverage that starts in January. But Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also serves as ODI director, said they are based on sound underwriting principles and she does not expect them to change.
About 5 percent of Ohioans now get coverage in the individual market. That number is expected to increase to about 7.5 percent by 2017.