Readers report higher insurance rates for 2016

Published 9:13 pm Thursday, November 5, 2015


A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services said that the majority of Alabamians who shop the Health Insurance Marketplace could find health care premiums between $75 and $100 with tax credits.

That could be a good thing after Star-News’ readers who have received notification from their health insurance providers, reported drastic jumps in monthly premiums.

Tina Dearden reported that her health insurance was tripling.

JoAnn Jones said her premium for one person was jumping from $480 a month to $635.20.

Jones has Blue Cross’s Secure Silver plan, which according to the company’s website, carries a $2,200 per person calendar year deductible, a $6,850 per person out-of-pocket maximum, a co-pay of $40 for primary care and $65 for specialist.

Blue Cross pays 100 percent after yearly deductible and copays are met on everything except occupational, physical and speech therapy.

Cindy Gatlin reported that her premiums increased from $234 to $478.

Maryann Andrews said hers for two people increased from $677 to $900 a month.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Alabama consumers who use the Marketplace to comparison shop could save money.

The report shows that 87 percent of returning Alabama Marketplace consumers could save an average of $593 annually in premiums before tax credits for a plan in the same level of coverage by returning to shop.

“Open enrollment (has started), and new and returning Alabama customers will find quality health coverage at prices that fit their budgets,” HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell said. “Nationwide, nearly eight in 10 Marketplace-eligible uninsured consumers can qualify for tax credits to help make premiums more affordable, and in Alabama 76 percent of returning enrollees could find plans for $75 or less in premiums per month after tax credits.”

The report also says that some 85 percent of Marketplace consumers nationwide received tax credits to help make their coverage more affordable this year.

The report estimates that a 27-year-old in Alabama with an income of $25,000 per year will, on average, get a tax credit of $101 a month – compared to $73 in 2015.

A typical family of four with an income of $60,000 will, on average, receive a tax credit of $477 a month – compared to $376 in 2015.

Alabama consumers can choose from three different issuers and have an average of 13 plans in 2016.

The report said that competition intensifies when there are three or more issuers for 2016.

To shop the Marketplace, visit