Miami-Dade and Broward County residents who buy health insurance through federally run online marketplaces opening Tuesday will be paying some of the cheapest rates available in Florida, according to federal data released Wednesday.
A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows how many insurance issuers will be offering plans in each county, what tiers those plans will be on and how much the average resident would pay before tax credits in certain tiers.
For example, in Broward, at least eight insurers will offer a total of 136 plans in platinum, gold, silver, bronze and catastrophic tiers. A 29-year-old resident there would pay an average monthly premium of $91.62 for a catastrophic plan, $136.80 for the lowest-cost bronze plan, $185.62 for the lowest-cost silver plan and $201.31 for the lowest-cost gold plan all before tax credits that would help cut the costs for some low- and middle-income consumers.
Those are the least-expensive prices for the entire state, with the exception of the silver tier. (Premium amounts for platinum plans were not provided.)
The same 29-year-old living in Miami-Dade will be able to choose from 141 plans from nine different insurers. She would pay $116.36 a month for the lowest-cost catastrophic plan, $173.74 for bronze, $216 for silver and $255.67 for gold before tax credits, according to the report. Those prices also are relatively low compared to other parts of the state, which Obama administration officials credit to the high level of competition in South Florida among insurers on the online marketplaces.
In Monroe County, two insurers will be offering a total of 38 plans. The premiums will be significantly higher than the rest of Florida: That 29-year-old would pay $274.23 a month for catastrophic coverage, and $259.17, $307.11 and $354.30, respectively, for lowest-cost bronze, silver and gold plans.
Not surprisingly, the prices of premiums rise with the age of the insured.
Still, a 55-year-old in Broward would be paying, on average, the least-expensive monthly rates in the state for lowest-cost bronze ($272.62) and lowest-cost gold ($401.18) plans.
The same hypothetical 55-year-old living in Miami-Dade would pay an average of $346.23 a month for lowest-cost bronze, $430.46 for lowest-cost silver and $509.51 for lowest-cost gold, before tax credits.
The very lowest monthly premium a 55-year-old in Monroe would have to pony up is $516.49 for the lowest-cost bronze plan. And it goes up from there: $612.02 a month for the lowest-cost silver plan, and $706.06 for the lowest-cost gold plan again, before tax credits.
The report did not specify which insurers would offer the low-cost plans or offer any details of the plans such as deductibles. It only offered information on the lowest-priced plans.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, said competition among insurers has helped drive down costs. In Florida, where there are an estimated 3.8 million uninsured residents, people will have an average of 102 health plans to choose from the second-most in the country.
Now there will be more choice and more competition thanks to the marketplace, and most consumers will find they will be able to choose from multiple companies when choosing which plan works best within their budget, she said at a news conference Tuesday.