U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement on a new report released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which finds that in Wisconsin, consumers will see increased competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace, leading to new and affordable choices for consumers.
"Today's HHS report shows that the Affordable Care Act is providing more choices and quality health insurance options for Wisconsin," said Baldwin. "This report also shows how the health insurance marketplace in Wisconsin will create competition and costs that are lower than originally projected. On average, Wisconsinites will be able to choose from 97 health plans in the Marketplace. For a working Wisconsin family of four with an income of $50,000 per year, a health care plan will be available for only $106 per month, including access to tax credits. It is my hope that this report will encourage Governor Walker to stop creating confusion and uncertainty for families and businesses through his calls for repealing, defunding and delaying the Affordable Care Act one week before the health insurance marketplace is set to open. Instead, he should focus on keeping the promises he has made to use the Affordable Care Act to cut the uninsured rate in half and increase the number of insured in Wisconsin by over 224,000. The Marketplace will provide new and affordable choices that can help the Governor keep his promises if he works constructively to move the Affordable Care Act forward for Wisconsin."
Background on the HHS Report:
* In less than a week, the new Marketplace will be open for business where millions of Americans will be able to shop for and purchase health insurance coverage in one place. Consumers will be able to find out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits. No one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. October 1 marks the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014. Coverage begins as early as January 1, or in as little as 100 days from today.
* According to the report, Wisconsin consumers will be able to choose from an average of 97 health plans in the Marketplace.
* Nationally, the vast majority of consumers will have a choice of at least two different health insurance companies - usually more. Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected -- with about 95 percent of eligible uninsured live in states with lower than expected premiums -- before taking into account financial assistance.
*Today's report finds that individuals in Wisconsin will have an average of 97 qualified health plan choices. Plans in the Marketplace will be categorized as either "gold," "silver," or "bronze." Young adults will also have the option of purchasing a "catastrophic" plan, increasing their number of choices.
*In Wisconsin, the average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan will be $344 and for the lowest cost bronze plan it will be $287. The average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections based off of Congressional Budget Office estimates. About 95 percent of uninsured people eligible for the Marketplace live in a state where their average premium is lower than projections. And states with the lowest premiums have more than twice the number of insurance companies offering plans than states with the highest premiums.
*Premium and plan options are broken down by state where information is available. For example, the report shows that a 27-year old living in Wisconsin who makes $25,000 per year will pay $96 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in Wisconsin with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost only $106 per month.
*In Milwaukee, Wis., a 27-year old who makes $25,000 per year will pay $86 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in Milwaukee, WI with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost only $70 per month. And Milwaukee, WI consumers will be able to choose from among 84 qualified health plans.
*The majority (around 6 out of 10) of the individuals who are uninsured today will be able to find coverage for $100 or less per month in the Marketplace taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage.
*Consumers can get help finding Marketplace coverage through a number of different resources. They can get more information through HealthCare.gov, or cuidadodesalud.gov. They can participate in an online web chat, or call 1-800-318-2596 toll free (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to speak with a trained customer service representative with translation services available in 150 languages.