Obamacare Will Be Cheaper Than Expected for 94 Percent of Americans

A blog about business and economics.
Sept. 25 2013 9:17 AM

94% of Uninsured Americans Will Have Obamacare Premiums Below What the CBO Projected

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The Department of Health and Human Services put out an important report today about what it knows about insurance premiums on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, and the news is good for most uninsured people and for the affluent Americans whose tax dollars will be subsidizing them. The Congressional Budget Office needed to do a score of ACA costs, and to do that it needed to score ACA subsidies, and to do that it needed to guestimate what the premiums would look like.

Naturally, there's some error in that kind of estimation process. And HHS reports that in about 94 percent of cases the CBO overestimated how high premiums would be. Specific premiums are going to vary quite widely from state to state and according to your age and the size of your family. But nationwide health care spending has grown more slowly than people had expected over the past couple of years, and in most states insurance companies have offered fairly aggressive bids to participate in the exchanges. Obviously this could all change 18 months from now when people are actually in the plans, but for now it looks like Obamacare will be cheaper for families and taxpayers than was thought at the time Congress voted on it.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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