GAO creates health insurance price benchmarkNews added by Benefits Pro on February 5, 2014

Benefits Pro

Joined: September 07, 2011

My Company

By Allison Bell

A year ago – before major Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health insurance underwriting and pricing rules took effect – carriers sold 617 plans to working-age adults in California.

Annual base rates for a single, 19-year-old, nonsmoking male ranged from $672 to $11,664, with a median premium of $1,704.

Carriers sold just 120 individual plans in New York state, and that same 19-year-old male could pay anywhere from $1,986 per year to $24,324, with a median annual premium of $5,750.

Texas carriers offered the 19-year-old male 5,422 plans, with an annual premium ranging from $363 to $4,790 and a median of $1,203.

Analysts at the U.S. Government Accountability Office have published those figures – and similar sets of data for all other states and the District of Columbia – in an individual health insurance price benchmarking report prepared at the request of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Hatch asked the GAO to develop a report to give policymakers a tool for analyzing the effects of PPACA and other policy initiatives on individual health insurance prices.

In addition to looking at the base price for several types of single 19-year-olds, including male and female smokers and nonsmokers, the GAO analysts collected the same sets of information for four different types of 64-year-old consumers.

The analysts gathered data on annual deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and coinsurance percentages for the individuals in addition to the premium amounts.

In Texas, for example, a 19-year-old who was paying $363 per year for medical insurance would get a plan with a $10,000 annual deductible, a $17,500 out-of-pocket maximum and a coinsurance rate of 50 percent.

The GAO was not sure what the cost-sharing terms were for the highest-cost policy in New York.

The 19-year-old male nonsmoker who had the highest-cost individual policy in California would get a plan with a $2,000 deductible and a $3,000 out-of-pocket maximum.

Originally published on
The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of ProducersWEB.
Reprinting or reposting this article without prior consent of is strictly prohibited.
If you have questions, please visit our terms and conditions
Post Press Release