Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

In Kansas, average "Benchmark" plan cost lower for 2015

December 05, 2014 5:21 AM | Anonymous

By Bryan Thompson | December 05, 2014,   KHI News Service

Premiums in the federal health insurance marketplace are slightly higher, on average, for 2015 than last year — but not for the "benchmark" plan in Kansas.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the cost of the so-called “benchmark” silver plan is up an average of 2 percent in 35 states across the nation. But in Kansas, the benchmark plan cost is actually an average of 5 percent lower for 2015.

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Health Plan Choice and Premiums in the 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace

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Kansas Insurance Department spokesman Bob Hanson said that’s because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas has added a HMO marketplace plan with premiums lower than last year’s benchmark plan.

“Last year’s lowest benchmark silver plan is now the second lowest in premium for this year,” he said. “Coverages are the same, however.”

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Issue Brief: Kansas Marketplace Opens for Year Two

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These figures don’t include tax credits that almost eight in 10 Kansas customers qualified for last year. HHS officials said that with those tax credits, most customers can find coverage for $100 a month or less, out-of-pocket, if they shop around.

Five companies are selling plans in Kansas this year, compared to four last year. With 25 percent more issuers participating in the marketplace in 2015, based on analysis of 35 states, more than 90 percent of consumers nationwide will be able to choose from three or more issuers — up from 74 percent in 2014.

Open enrollment in the marketplace continues through Feb. 15, 2015. But consumers, including those who currently have coverage through the marketplace, need to enroll or re-enroll by Dec. 15 in order to have coverage effective on Jan. 1, 2015.

- See more at: http://www.khi.org/news/article/kansas-average-benchmark-plan-cost-lower-2015#sthash.JVlw86N3.dpuf 



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