December 10, 2014

Consumers Should Comparison Shop for Health Plans

According to this article from the Commonwealth Fund, the administration is urging consumers to shop for new health care plans rather than accept automatic renewal of their current plan. Administration officials have said that more than 70 percent of people now enrolled in a health law marketplace plan could get cheaper monthly premiums by picking a different plan. Some plans offering the lowest prices have changed from 2014 to 2015.


It is important for consumers to recognize that the value of subsidies is not going up as much as the cost of the some health plans, including the cheapest plans in the silver tier of coverage. The amount of the tax credit is tied to the second-lowest cost silver plan in a market, regardless of the plan in which a person or family enrolls. Premiums for those plans are increasing by 2 percent on average, before tax credits. But the average premium cost for the cheapest silver plans are rising by 5 percent, according to a report issued last week by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). See this HHS press release.