With all the hootin' and hollerin' about Obamacare, and the GOPers holding fillabustery things, and Rick Scott writing letters to Congress to make it all stop, there's this: According to a thing called "reading," Florida is at the top of the list in the U.S. in terms of the amount of choices Obamacare will offer, and the premiums aren't the Helter Skelter Dark Lord Sauron Grandma Killing Hellspawn the GOPers are making it out to be.
In fact, according to reports, Florida residents will have an average of 102 health plans to choose from when everything kicks off come October 1.
And, again, the premiums will be only slightly higher than the national average.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that premium averages are coming in 16 percent lower than they where expecting, with Floridians who buy health insurance under "Obamacare" facing an average premium next year of $257 a month for the lowest cost plans, which -- again -- is only slightly higher than the average.
But tax credits will significantly lower costs for people who earn less than $46,000 a year and families with incomes under $94,000.
"Florida rates have actually come in quite well," said Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in a conference call with reporters and Obama's top health official, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
For our neck of the woods, that would mean a family of four in Fort Lauderdale, with an income of $50,000 per year, would pay $24 per month with a tax credit if they chose the cheapest plan.
Basically, the options under the Affordable Care Act in Florida will be plentiful, especially in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
In Broward County, [a] 27-year-old would pay $199 a month for a silver plan, but only $145 with the tax credit. The family of four would pay $722 for a silver plan, or $282 after applying a tax credit.
In Palm Beach County, the 27-year-old would pay $220 for a silver plan, or $145 after the tax credit. The family would pay $797, or $282 after the credit.
Moreover, Floridians will have six months to figure out what options they want.
"Consumers and advocates will have a full six months to look at the options available to them and make a choice based on what they think is best for themselves and their family," said Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
"For people who want to be insured by the start of the new year, "they have all of October, all of November, and half of December to go online, look at plans... think about it, come back, and make a decision."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.