Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Affordable Insurance

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Affordable Insurance

Article excerpt

TEXAS SEN. Ted Cruz spent about 21 consecutive hours this week speaking against Obamacare. None of his Republican colleagues joined the effort, but they agreed with Cruz that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was about to destroy the country, if it has not already done so. There is nothing new about the GOP's rhetoric.

But the evolving problem for Republicans is that the latest news about Obamacare is pretty good.

Costs under insurance plans obtained through newly created health exchanges are projected to be lower than expected and below what many who carry their own insurance are paying now, according to a report released Wednesday by the federal government.

The report estimated that the monthly premium for a 27-year-old in New Jersey who uses available tax credits to buy a so-called silver health insurance plan (the second-least-expensive) will be $145, less than the cheapest plan now available for 25-to-29-year- olds. A silver plan for a family of four will be $943 a month, compared with about $2,300 now. And that $943 cost will be considerably less if that family has annual income of $50,000 or less and qualifies for tax credits.

These rates will cover state residents eligible to enroll in insurance plans overseen by the exchanges, which are online marketplaces that allow consumers to pick the plan they want. Most do not have insurance now. Consumers will be able to choose from a variety of four plans offering varying levels of coverage at different rates. The plans are called bronze, silver, gold and platinum. There is also a catastrophic plan for young adults.

Many New Jersey residents get health insurance through their jobs or through such federal programs as Medicare and Medicaid. While the rates announced this week would not directly affect them, the exchanges are designed to sign up those without health insurance. …

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