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Health

Preview Of Healthcare.gov Shows Premium Increases For Some Plans In Kansas

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HealthCare.gov

Kansans who get their health insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act website can’t buy yet — but they can look.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has opened what agency officials call a “window shopping” option on healthcare.gov, ahead of the official Nov. 1 open enrollment start date.

A green button on the site’s homepage allows users to “Preview 2017 Plans and Prices” by entering their ZIP code and some personal information.

For example, the preview showed 11 plans available for a 35-year-old male living in Shawnee County who does not use tobacco products.

Absent federal subsidies, the monthly premiums ranged from $309 to $575.13. The lower premium plans had higher annual deductibles — as high as $7,150. The plans with higher premiums had deductibles as low as $1,000 a year.

All of the plans were from two insurers: Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas Solutions and Medica. All of the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, meaning only in-network care is reimbursed.

Consumers in Johnson County and Wyandotte County will have the option of purchasing from Medica or Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, both of which will offer traditional health insurance plans.

The premiums in Kansas are a steep increase from past years — in some plans almost 50 percent higher.

In a conference call with reporters Monday, HHS officials said they projected that 85 percent of those nationwide who buy on the ACA marketplace will receive tax credits to help offset the costs.

Andy Marso is a reporter for KHI News Service in Topeka, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team. You can reach him on Twitter @andymarso

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