Reimagining Affordable Care Act Premiums in 2024
Affordable Care Act Premiums Set to Rise in 2024
While premiums on the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange are projected to increase in 2024, the Biden administration is committed to ensuring that most consumers are protected from these rising costs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reported that the average monthly premium for the benchmark silver plan in 2024 will see a 4% increase in the 32 states participating in HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange. This mirrors the increase seen in the previous year and marks a shift from the four consecutive years of premium declines that preceded it.
The Biden Administration’s Commitment to Affordable Healthcare
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has emphasized the administration’s commitment to affordable health care coverage. “Millions of Americans have obtained affordable, high-quality health care coverage through the marketplaces,” stated Becerra. He encourages everyone to visit HealthCare.gov to explore the available health insurance plans and find the options that best suit their needs. The Biden-Harris administration has made it a priority to strengthen the ACA and reduce premiums for the millions of Americans enrolled in marketplace coverage.
Growth and Strengthening of ACA Marketplaces
CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has highlighted the growth and strengthening of ACA Marketplaces in recent years. She encourages consumers to explore HealthCare.gov and their state-based marketplaces to preview plans and premiums before the Open Enrollment period begins.
Inflation Reduction Act and Expanded Financial Assistance
Administration officials credit the Inflation Reduction Act for continuing the qualification criteria for health insurance coverage assistance and stable premiums, which will remain unchanged for the third consecutive year. This law has made it possible for four out of five HealthCare.gov consumers to secure plans for $10 or less per month, thanks to expanded financial assistance. Additionally, more people who were previously ineligible for financial help can now access lower premiums through tax credits, including families with expensive employer-based insurance and individuals with low incomes.
Optional Demographic Questions
For the first time, the marketplace application will include optional demographic questions related to sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, and gender identity. These questions have been added to analyze health disparities in access to coverage and improve the consumer experience by allowing individuals to attest in a way that reflects and affirms their identities. Consumers have the choice to answer, skip, or indicate their preference not to answer any or all of the three optional questions. Importantly, individual responses or decisions to skip these questions will have no impact on their eligibility results, plan pricing, or plan costs. Federal officials assure that the privacy of all shared information will be protected.
Expanded Subsidies and Cost-Effective Healthcare Coverage
In 2023, a significant 96% of enrollees who selected plans on the federal exchange during open enrollment were eligible for expanded subsidies. For current policyholders remaining within their coverage tier, approximately two-thirds can find plans for less than $10 per month for the upcoming year. Overall, four out of five consumers will have the option to select plans on the federal exchange for $10 or less per month, providing cost-effective healthcare coverage options for most Americans. Nearly all consumers will have access to at least three insurers, with an average of just under seven options available to choose from.
Enrollment Period and Assistance
The Marketplace Open Enrollment Period on HealthCare.gov will run from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15. Those who enroll by midnight on Dec. 15 (5 a.m. EST on Dec. 16) will secure full-year coverage starting on Jan. 1. The enrollment deadline will be extended until midnight on Jan. 16 (5 a.m. EST on Jan. 17) to accommodate the federal holiday. The HealthCare.gov call center is available around the clock to provide assistance in 200 languages. Consumers can also find local assisters, agents, or brokers in their area by visiting HealthCare.gov and selecting the “Find local help” option.
Read More of this Story at www.washingtoninformer.com – 2023-10-28 12:58:00
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