With less than one week to go before health care “exchanges” or state-based insurance marketplaces open for enrollment, the Obama administration is touting some promising findings: Individual premiums will cost an average of $328 per month, the White House said this week, 16% lower than the Congressional Budget Office projected.
According to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services, individual insurance premiums will be lower than projected for 95% of Americans. Costs vary by state, family size, and annual income, among other factors.
The White House is undergoing a broad push to encourage Americans to enroll in the optional insurance program, a core tenet of President Obama’s signature health care law. The success of the program relies on people signing up – especially younger and healthier Americans.
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York Tuesday to discuss the benefits of the insurance program, aimed at covering the 15% of Americans who live without health insurance – and often drive up shared costs by seeking emergency, rather than preemptive care. Around 7 million people are expected to sign up for insurance in the exchanges during open enrollment between Oct. 1 and March 31.
Conservatives have been rallying the public against the exchanges and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, telling consumers they would pay higher premiums and have fewer choices in the reformed system. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz launched a more than 21-hour filibuster Tuesday and Wednesday advocating that Congress defund Obamacare, The Supreme Court voted to uphold the law last year.
Watch Chris Jansing’s interview with strategists Joe Watkins and Chris Kofinis below: