There are also ways to lower the bill through tax credits. Consumers whose estimated income in 2021 will be between the federal poverty line ($ 12,760 per year for an individual and $ 26,200 for a family of four) and four times that amount ($ 51,040 for an individual or $ 104,800 for a family of four) are eligible to subsidize tax credits coverage.
If your income is likely to be below the poverty line and you live in one of the 13 states where Medicaid has not been expanded, coverage is difficult. You could fall into the "Medicaid void". "Then you are too poor for market subsidies and too wealthy for Medicaid," said Sabrina Corlette, research professor at Georgetown University's Center on Health Insurance Reforms.
In Alabama, for example, around 134,000 people could fall into this gap, according to the KFF.
Shop for value.
One of the reasons market premiums stayed the same or fell in 32 states is because health insurers made record profits that year, said Sara R. Collins, vice president of health insurance and access for the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that advocates health uses nursing research.
Prices vary depending on the state, insurer and metal level (bronze, silver, gold and platinum). Bronze plans typically have the lowest premiums, but deductibles and co-payments are higher. Gold and platinum plans may have higher rewards but lower expenses.
Once you are on the healthcare.gov website, the marketplace will calculate your tax credit based on the benchmark plan in your area, said Louise Norris, who has run a health insurance broker in Colorado since 2003 and writes on health insurance. org and Verywell. (H.H.S. refers to the benchmark plan as the second lowest silver plan in your region). If you qualify for a tax credit, the exchange will apply it to all of the plans named for metals (but not to "catastrophic" plans for healthy young people). Expense credits are also included, but only on Silver plans and only if you are eligible.
Using the KFF health insurance calculator, a hypothetical non-smoker, 55 years old and making $ 40,000 the next year, would pay $ 786 per month on a silver plan but receive a tax credit of $ 458 per month, so the monthly cost for this plan is only $ 328. "Every month the I.R.S. would send this tax credit to the consumer's health insurer, meaning he or she would only pay $ 328 per month and include it on his or her year-end tax return, ”explained Ms. Norris.
In October, H.H.S. reported that 22 new health insurers were offering coverage for 2021, bringing the total to 181. Also, the average monthly payment for the benchmark plan for 2021 fell two percent compared to this year's rate, the third year in a row that average premiums fell since the ACA went into effect, according to the KFF.