The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) Public Use Files (PUFs) over the weekend.
For subsidized buyers on the individual market, they are most sensitive to premium spreads. The premium spread is the difference in premium of the plan that they select and the benchmark silver plan. The bigger the premium spread, the more affordable the plan is for this population.
In 2021, about 35% of the counties on Healthcare.gov have a Gold plan priced below benchmark. For individuals earning over 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and who live in these counties, they should take a hard look at Gold. At least one Bronze plan will be priced below benchmark for every county. In most of the country, there will be a Bronze plan priced at least $100 below benchmark for a single 40 year old non-smoker.
For individuals who have assets and have an expectation that they are in reasonably decent health with low expected utilization OR know that they are a complete medical train wreck and will max out any out of pocket limit in a month or less, Bronze can be appropriate where the additional savings in premium makes up for any increase in out of pocket spending. Otherwise, be cautious.
I’ll have some more Healthcare.gov pricing posts over the week.
Below the fold is the HC.Gov pricing map