HHS: 6.5M Americans save $268 a month on premiums

Almost 6.5 million consumers who purchased coverage in states using Healthcare.gov saved an average of $268 a month on their premiums, according to new data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

HHS found that tax credits helped reduce individuals' monthly premiums by 72 percent. Before tax credits, the average 2015 rate for coverage was $374; this dropped to $105 after tax credits. However, the average monthly premium last year was $82.

Other key highlights from the report include:
  • In the 37 states using Healthcare.gov, 8 in 10 consumers purchased a plan with a monthly premium of $100 or less after tax credits.
  • Eighty-seven percent of individuals with a plan selection qualify for an advance premium tax credit.
  • Sixty-six percent of consumers are able to select a plan with a premium of $50 or less after the advance premium tax credit. However, due to plan options and re-enrollment, only 31 percent of individuals have done so.
  • Among all consumers, both with or without tax credits, 79 percent have an option with a new premium of less than $100 after the advance tax credit. Fifty-three percent of individuals have either purchased or re-enrolled in a plan with a net premium of $100 or less.
  • Average monthly premiums range from $47 in Mississippi to $172 in New Jersey.

That said, many consumers remain unaware of how subsidies can really help them. Some Americans don't believe they can, in fact, afford coverage, since they don't know the price they pay after subsidies, Laura Adams, a senior analyst with InsuraceQuotes.com, told USA Today.

Because many consumers are unaware that tax credits go directly to insurers, it would benefit these consumers to see the net premiums, as that ends up being the actual price they pay, Adams added.

This report comes at a critical time, considering the March 4 hearing date for King v. Burwell. Should the Supreme Court side with the plaintiffs, nearly 9.6 million individuals could be at risk of losing subsidized coverage.

For more:
- here's the HHS report (.pdf)
- check out the USA Today article