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Cost of Montana Health Insurance Going Up, Claims Expert

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Photo courtesy of colindunn/Flickr

The Affordable Care Act’s health exchanges are set to open on October 1. Although the government claims that the insurance rates will be lower than expected, some experts argue that costs will be higher than what many Montanans have experienced in the past.

“Right now, the lowest cost Bronze Plan on Montana’s exchanges is expected to be $163, but that compares to about $66 for the cheapest plan that’s currently available in some places like Bozeman, Montana,” said Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress Director Paul Howard. “It’s going to be a significant increase, verses the cheapest plans that were available prior to the law going into effect.”

Champions of the law point out that there are no true apples-to-apples comparisons because the new insurance will offer better coverage, but Howard said that that new coverage will likely go unused.

“[ACA] raised the cost for people who are young and healthy,” Howard said. “For instance, for the average 27-year-old that we just talked about that Bronze Plan is going to cost $163 verses the $66 plan which might not have been as comprehensive, but it was also more affordable. For someone who is very healthy and doesn’t expect very high health costs, they’re paying for coverage they aren’t ever going to use.”

A full list of the expected costs for health insurance in the exchange is available on the state website of the Montana Securities and Exchange Commissioner. The Manhattan Institute has totaled the costs of health insurance before the exchanges for all 50 states and has come to the conclusion that prices will be going up nearly everywhere.

Paul Howard:

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