WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report today that health care premiums across the country will be 16 percent lower than originally expected and that Ohio consumers will have an average of 46 health plans to choose from in the new marketplace beginning October 1. Following release of the report, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) offered the following statement.
“This is excellent news for Ohio’s citizens and families,” Brown said. “The health law is already benefitting millions of Ohioans and will continue to do so as premiums go down and citizens learn more about their options in the marketplace. No longer will Ohioans have to worry about being an illness or injury away from financially devastating medical bills. Health reform is leveling the playing field by ending lifetime limits on coverage, ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and providing assistance so that low and medium income citizens can purchase insurance.”
Last week, Brown held a news conference call to announce that more than 916,000 Ohioans are eligible to receive financial help in order to secure affordable and accessible health coverage. Brown, who declined Congressional health insurance for nearly two decades—keeping a 1992 campaign promise to decline a health plan until similar coverage is available to all Americans—will enter the marketplace during this fall’s enrollment period.
95 percent of uninsured Americans eligible for the marketplace live in states with average premiums lower than projections, including Ohio where the average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan is $304 and for the lowest cost bronze plan is $263. In fact, states with the lowest premiums have more than double the number of insurance companies offering plans compared to states with the highest premiums.
Ohioans can go to www.healthcare.gov to read about their options or live chat with an expert. They can also call the helpline, which is open 24/7 at 1-800-318-2596.