Consumers are increasingly turning to insurance companies for their health care coverage.
And as they do, they’re seeking ways to keep their premiums down, so they can afford the cost of their dental plan.
Some are opting to purchase coverage through the individual market, which offers lower premiums and fewer out-of-pocket costs.
But the health law also gives states the option of establishing their own health insurance marketplaces, or “state-based marketplaces.”
The state-based exchanges are the first to be implemented under the law, and they are meant to help states attract and retain low-income residents and low-cost carriers.
States have set up two state-level health insurance markets, the individual insurance market and the state-federal market, to ensure that consumers can buy plans in the right price and coverage.
They’ve also created other state-specific insurance exchanges to help people purchase coverage at competitive rates.
In 2018, the average premium for a private policy on the individual marketplace was $9,400.
That’s up from $8,600 in 2020.
And the average price for a policy on a state-run exchange is $13,800, up from just over $11,000 in 2020, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The average cost of premiums on the state exchange was $2,200, while the average cost on the federal exchange was just over an $800 increase.
States have also set up federal exchange plans, which are meant for Americans who can’t get coverage in one state or can’t qualify for subsidies.
The most expensive plan available in the individual health insurance marketplace in 2020 was the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which offered a $9.4 million plan for a single adult with an annual income of $60,000 or less.
That plan costs just over a quarter as much as the $16,200 average cost for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan offered by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield in 2020–an average premium of $5,890.
The average price of a policy offered by a state exchange in 2018 was $869, a 30 percent increase from $719 in 2020 and a 7.5 percent increase over the $739 average premium on Anthem BlueCross BlueShield in 2020 that year.
The premium hikes on state-wide plans are a sign of how the law is helping consumers.
The law also allows states to set their own tax credits and subsidies, so people with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty level can purchase a policy.
The subsidies will help people who earn up to $115,000 per year, and the average tax credit will be $2.75, according the Kaiser Family Foundation.
There are other ways that consumers are getting insurance.
One of the biggest, according a survey by the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, is through state-operated Medicaid, which is administered by the state and is a form of insurance that includes coverage for the poor.
States that use Medicaid also get an annual payment of $1,300, and people with income up to 400 percent of poverty can receive $1.75 per month.
The law doesn’t directly apply to the individual or state-market insurance plans, but some states have begun using the state exchanges as a way to make the individual plan more affordable.
For example, the state of Tennessee recently created its own marketplace that offers policies with lower premiums.
Some states have also begun to offer health savings accounts, or HSA, which can help people save money for health care costs.
HSA accounts are separate from traditional employer plans, and typically are not open to employees, but they can be used by workers and family members to reduce their out- of-pocket expenses.
The ACA also requires that most employers provide health insurance to all employees.
It’s a requirement that many employers in the ACA’s individual market are doing, and is meant to give employees more choice and help them save money on their health insurance.