Healthcare.gov released their public use files this morning so I spent the past couple of hours ripping some data. Below is the map of the least expensive Silver, Gold and choose your own adventure plans relative to Benchmark. My data is stored here.
1) It is great to have old code that is easy to repurpose.
2) CMS/Healthcare.gov got the data out early enough to allow meaningful window-shopping
3) There are some incredible deals in Tennessee
4) Gold gaps are sometimes a state story (New Mexico or Oklahoma) and sometimes an insurer by insurer story within a state (Georgia)
5) The North Carolina story is massive compression of the price of Gold relative to Silver compared to 2017 but not a flip in price order.
Headline: “Price Spreads,” surely.
So if I’m reading this correctly, for the Least Expensive Gold map the green means the Gold plan is cheaper than the benchmark silver? And, conversely, in a place like Georgia the Gold plan is far more expensive than the benchmark silver?
@guachi: Correct, South Georgia has wicked expensive Gold plans relative to the Benchmark Silver.
North Georgia has cheaper than Benchmark Silver gold plans.
Window shopping healthcare.gov I see we’re down to 3 insurance companies here in Marion County, Oregon. Best I can recall we had 8 or 10 a couple years ago. Kaiser has increased it’s price advantages. I can get a Kaiser Gold plan w/$2000 deductible for $17 less than Moda silver w/$7000 deduct and $27 less than Providence w/$5000 deductible. That would be a compelling bargain but my wife does not like Kaiser and the clinic is 30 to 45 minutes away vs our local docs that are 10 minutes away. Much to think about.
@Kelly: mind if I front page this comment tomorrow morning?
@David Anderson: Please do. Glad to contribute to your great work.
Yikes! My gold plan with $750 deductible is going from *$856 per month to $1056 per month with $7500 (rounded) out of pocket max.I think that max is way up. At least I still have preexisting condition coverage.
Thank you BJ callers to Congresscritters.
Hoping to hang in until medicare kicks in and hoping to still have medicare when I retired that they promised me for my whole working life when I paid in to the system (45 years).
Wow. I’m in a part of VA that’s down to only one insurer, Optima, and the rate increases are truly impressive. My projected subsidy ($580 or so) for next year is almost double this year’s post-subsidy premium ($318 for silver; I don’t recall if it was the benchmark plan). Only 5 plans are being offered on-Marketplace: two bronze, two silver, and one gold which looks to be such a bad deal that I kind of wonder why they bothered. I’m still digesting the details, but it kind of looks like they might be doing something weird with the bronze plans; when I used the estimation of annual costs tool, the bronzes are projected to have the lowest cost for high use. This may be because the deductibles are quite high across the board ($6k or $7,350 for the two bronzes; $2,850 or $4,600 for the silvers; $1,500 for the gold), and most of the plans have the highest out of pocket max allowed (including the gold). The premiums are in the mid-$600s for bronze, low-mid $800s for silver, and close to $1,200 for gold pre-subsidy (using an early-40s non-smoker, but living in an area which you’d think wouldn’t be super-expensive in terms of medical costs, but we got one hell of an area multiplier this coming year). I don’t recall what the bronze and gold prices were last year, but my pre-subsidy premium for a silver plan was $395. I think the gold plan rate is going up by just about as much.
Will definitely be making a call to my tax guru for advice on making absolutely, positively sure that my MAGI stays below the cutoff for subsidies, because there is no way in hell I could afford those premiums without one!
I continue to enjoy and appreciate your analyses, Mr. Anderson. One request, though, please: Whenever you include that “Silver and Gold Gaps” graphic (and other interactive elements like it) in a post, can you put the graphic below a “Read More” fold, please? Such graphics chew up memory and cause the entire BJ site to crash (again and again) on my iPad. Keeping them off the home page and restricting them solely to individual posting pages will help optimize the BJ user experience (well, my user experience, but I’m not sure I’m alone in having issues with these elements). Thanks again.