Montana Health Insurance ExchangeMontana Health Insurance Exchange Rates Better than Expected

When the Montana health insurance marketplace opens for business on October 1, there will be three health insurance companies offering qualified health plans to consumers. According to state’s insurance commissioner’s office, PacificSource Health Plans, the Montana Health CO-OP and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana have all filed the paperwork to sell policies on the Montana health insurance exchange. Early analysis indicates that the rates for these plans will be less expensive than previously thought.

Marketplace Will Allow Consumers to Compare Plans

The Montana health insurance marketplace will be an online website where residents of Montana can select a health insurance policy from several choices. Some consumers will also qualify for government tax credits and the online system will establish the eligibility for such subsidies. Residents will receive credits to assist them with the cost of a policy if they earn between 100 percent and 400 percent of the national poverty income amount.

All 50 states will be required to offer a health exchange beginning in October of this year. As the main component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, the exchanges are meant to make purchasing health insurance both easier and less expensive. All Americans must be covered by an insurance policy beginning January 1, 2014, or they will be required to pay a penalty.

Exchange Will Expand Coverage for Montanans

While some states are choosing to run their own exchanges and other states are partnering with the federal government to jointly operate their exchanges, the Montana health insurance exchange will be developed and operated solely by the federal government. The government already has a system in place for determining eligibility for federal tax credits. This will allow between 150,000 and 200,000 Montana residents to qualify for assistance with the cost of their health insurance. Without the ACA, these residents would most likely not have access to affordable health care.

Policy Costs Won’t Shock Consumers

According to a study conducted by the state insurance commission office, the policies for both small businesses and individuals will be less expensive than was initially expected. For a 40-year-old resident of Montana, the monthly price of a plan through the Montana health insurance exchange would average $273. For younger residents, the price would be cheaper and older residents would pay more.

For instance, a 25-year-old Montanan, the price of a policy through the exchange would be anywhere from $141 to $299 per month. A 55-year-old Montana resident would pay between $313 and $664 each month. The actual price will depend on how many features the person chooses to include on the policy. These price projections also do not include any subsidies these residents might receive from the federal government.

Small businesses will also see some savings through Montana health insurance exchange relative to what they are currently paying. The average cost for a small-business policy purchased on the marketplace is projected to be approximately $375 per month for each employee. The reason this cost is higher than an individual policy is because companies tend to include more features. Without the exchange, businesses would have a cost of about $450 per month for each employee.

Better Prices are a Pleasant Surprise

The state Auditor’s office had expected Montana health insurance exchange rates to be higher because under the ACA, health insurance companies are required to accept consumers with pre-existing conditions. It was believed that the insurers would have to raise rates to offset those costs. However, it appears that the opposite will be true, which is good news for Montana residents.

See this for all ObamaCare law related articles and find out how to apply for ObamaCare here. More information on federal run exchange is here.

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