Two Million Americans Missing Out On Obamacare Subsidies, Paying More For Insurance

On November 7, 2016 By Tevis

More than two million Americans are buying health insurance at higher premiums by not taking advantage of the financial aid through the Obamacare marketplace. This number is primarily composed of more than one hundred thousand residents from California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 makes heath care more attainable by giving aid in the form of federal tax credits to individuals who purchase health insurance on exchanges set up by the states. Americans who have low to moderate income are eligible for subsidies but may take advantage of such aid when they purchase individual plans on Healthcare.gov or on a state-run marketplace.

In 2015, around 8.1 million Americans are eligible for health insurance subsidies but only 5.9 million was said to have taken advantage of the aid, leaving the 2.2 million paying more than they should. Of these 2.2 million Americans who opt to enroll in plans outside Obamacare exchanges, those of the lower-income bracket could have also been getting more aid by having their out-of-pocket health costs paid for them.

Downsides of Getting Off-Exchange Plans

When an individual does not purchase a health insurance plan through the Obamacare marketplace, or those exchanges set up by the states, they are said to be getting off-exchange plans.

Off-exchange plans have a lot of disadvantages. For one, off-exchange plans are disqualified of subsidies. Also, a number of insurers are requesting for premium price hikes. Those who purchase plans on qualified exchanges are shielded from such hikes.

Why Are Subsidies Not Maximized?

It was found out that more than 50 percent of American adults are not aware of the subsidies that can be enjoyed through the Obamacare exchange. Not all are educated of how the subsidies can be obtained.

Subsidies are available for Americans with annual household incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that is ranging from $24,300 to $97,200. Those who are between 100 and 250 percent of the poverty level can further get subsidies in co-pays and deductibles.

Furthermore, not all know that to qualify for subsidies, their plan must be silver. Most opt for the cheapest plan (bronze) while not realizing that the wiser choice is to go for a silver plan as the subsidy makes it more economic. Also, silver plans cover up to 70 percent of medical costs as compared to the 60 percent of bronze plans.

True enough, consumer education regarding health insurance is necessary.

Obamacare Open-Enrollment For 2017

Open enrollment for Obamacare Plans for 2017 will start on November 1. It is with high hopes that more Americans who qualify for subsidies will take advantages of the initiative of the government to make healthcare more affordable.

There are about 11.1 million Americans who are enrolled in Obamacare plans. Around 9.4 million are getting subsidies for their premiums. This number can rise if only more are aware that the Government has set up aid to help to make healthcare more affordable for Americans, and even cheaper for those of lower income.

Read more, be informed, take full advantage of Obamacare plans for 2017!

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