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HEALTH CARE — The Bottom Line

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Open enrollment in Washington and Idaho’s online health insurance marketplaces is just around the corner. Although you’ll have to wait until Oct. 1 to start shopping for plans, you can get an idea of how much you might pay under Obamacare in the meantime. The chart below shows how BridgeSpan Health Company’s monthly premium rates differ in Spokane and Kootenai counties not only by level of coverage each of its plans provides, but by age and location.

Rates are for nonsmokers in Spokane and Kootenai counties through BridgeSpan Health Company, which operates in both Idaho and Washington, as of Sept. 24. Bronze represents approximately 60 percent coverage of health costs; silver, 70 percent; gold, 80 percent. - LISA WAANANEN
  • Lisa Waananen
  • Rates are for nonsmokers in Spokane and Kootenai counties through BridgeSpan Health Company, which operates in both Idaho and Washington, as of Sept. 24. Bronze represents approximately 60 percent coverage of health costs; silver, 70 percent; gold, 80 percent.

Keep in mind these rates don’t include any financial assistance you may qualify for. Under the Affordable Care Act, people who purchase insurance in the new online exchanges can apply for tax-credit subsidies to offset the cost of their premiums. The size of your subsidy will depend on your income, family size and, in some cases, the state you live in. For example, if you’re single and making 250 percent of the federal poverty line, which is $28,725, you don’t have to pay more than 8.05 percent of your income, or $2,313, to enroll in the second lowest cost silver plan in your area. That means your tax subsidy would be equal to the cost of the second lowest silver plan minus $2,313.

People who make more than 400 percent of the federal poverty line ($45,960) won’t be eligible for subsidies. Likewise, people who live in Idaho and make less than the federal poverty level ($11,490) will get zilch because their state opted out of Medicaid expansion.

Confused? There are health insurance exchange navigators in Washington and Idaho who can provide some guidance. Visit wahealthplanfinder.org or yourhealthidaho.org for more information.

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