Wisconsin Obamacare Exchange Premiums More Costly than National Average

MacIver News Service | September 25, 2013

[Washington, DC] Wisconsinites will pay more for health care premiums under the exchange setup by the Affordable Care Act than most other states in the nation.

According to a report released by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a mid-level health care plan will cost $361 per month on average in Wisconsin, while the national average is $328.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement that the exchanges are creating more competition and lowering costs for health care. However, the MacIver News Service reported recently that premium costs are expected to increase in Wisconsin by 51 percent.

In the individual market, 13 counties in Wisconsin have either no health plan or one health plan available in the exchange. In the small group market, there are 19 counties in the same predicament. This contrasts one of the key talking points from Obamacare supporters that it would foster more competition in the market.

Proponents of the health care law refute that claim by saying premium costs are lower than the Congressional Budget Office originally projected. Compared to current costs, however, most Wisconsin residents will see an increase.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance reported that a 21 year old in Madison is expected to see an increase of 125 percent and a 63 year old in Madison is expected to see a 70 percent increase.

Few states had a higher average premium cost than Wisconsin according to the HHS report. Wyoming will see the highest average premium at $516 per month.

A family of four with an annual income of $50,000 in Milwaukee will see a very high monthly cost for the second lowest silver plan at $935 per month. But, taxpayers will pick up $653 of that bill in the form of a subsidy.

The Obamacare exchange is set to begin enrolling individuals October 1st, and everyone is required to have health insurance beginning the first of the year.