Insurance Blog

Finance Blogs » Insurance Blog » What’s Obamacare’s average price?

What’s Obamacare’s average price?

By Jay MacDonald ·
Friday, June 20, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Yes, it was a grind last fall, fumbling our way as a nation through altogether new and confusing online health insurance exchanges that were obviously overwhelmed by the attention. We watched in frustration as the clock icon spun interminably, day or night, blocking us even from window-shopping -- never mind purchasing -- the first federally standardized and subsidized health plans for non-seniors on these shores.

But for most of those who persevered, it was well worth it.

According to new figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services, the average consumer who qualified for tax credits on the exchange wound up paying about $82 a month for their health plan, or about one quarter of what it would have cost without the help of Uncle Sam.

© txking/

Feds pick up 76 percent of costs

The administration's first official report card following Obamacare's inaugural six-month open enrollment period covers only results from the 36 states that didn't use their own exchange but instead relied on the federal site. About 5.4 million of the initial 8 million policies sold on the exchanges were purchased through

Results from states such as California and New York that launched their own exchanges are expected to fall in line with the federal results, however, because all exchange plans limit what consumers face in premiums by using a fixed share of their income as a gauge -- regardless of which exchange is used.

Based on an average monthly premium of $346, the federal government pays $264, or 76 percent of the total, directly to the health insurers. Owing to their incomes, Mississippi residents received the most federal assistance -- paying, on average, $23 per month for plans averaging $438 per month before subsidies. New Jersey residents qualified for the least help from Uncle Sam on -- paying, on average, $148 for plans averaging$465 a month before subsidies.

Utah premiums were lowest

As expected, most consumers purchased mid-range "silver" plans over the more expensive platinum and gold plans and the less-expensive bronze plans. On average, consumers could choose between five insurers and 47 plans on the federal exchange. Premiums varied widely by state, ranging from a low of $243 in Utah to a high of $536 in Wyoming, again on

And, as hoped, results from Obamacare's initial open enrollment seem to indicate that the exchanges are already spurring competition among health insurance companies, driving down the cost of exchange health plan offerings.

Here's a look at who's covered under Obamacare.

Follow me on Twitter: @omnisaurus.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
Jack from Miss.
August 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Let me see if I have this right. The Federal gov't picked up 76 percent of the cost for 5.4 million and 100 percent of those new to Medicaid . My question is who gives the Federal gov't the billions to cover this cost? If you think your taxes are high now just wait until about 5 years from now. This is just like all those people who purchased homes they could not afford. We as a nation have bought into a program we cannot afford. It is just that simple. Even a redneck from Mississippi can understand this.

August 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

We, the people don't put these law makers in office, the big corporation/ INSURANCE/MEDICAL COMPANIES/BIG REALESTATE , THEY are the ones that select and pay for all the advertising or the brain washing. That starts six months or more before an election.WE the people do not bather to read what this person has accomplish, WHAT has he done for the people he was representing. WE LET THEM BRAINWASH US. MR. SMITH WAS RUN OUT OF WASHINGTON . BIG COMPANIES WON WE THE PEOPLE LOST.

rOY f.
July 01, 2014 at 11:46 pm

ALL STATES SHOULD BE THE SAME -ALL UNITED - and Insured the SAME and same price -Insurance Companys wouldn't like that

rOY f.
July 01, 2014 at 11:43 pm


Mike N
July 01, 2014 at 10:45 pm

I read people complaining about costs, but not about there wages or health issues. Don says "The Federal Government picks up 76%". Who picks up the costs of care for those without insurance at 100%? Seems like Obama has saved us at least 24% right off the bat. If business can't afford wages ,insurance, other benefits and do so clean and proper............they shouldn't be in business, period!

July 01, 2014 at 10:38 pm

we are fortunate to have private insurance; my husband checked what our rates would be in our Washington state for us (60 years old). With Obama care we would have to pay $800.00/month - each! Who is kidding whom? IF YOU QUALIFY - I thought everyone was supposed to be able to get affordable insurance. And Don had it right; if the Feds pick up 76%, you have to remember WE are the government, and anything they give to someone, they take from us. And furthermore, did you ever wonder why the politicals don't have to have the same insurance the voters have? I wonder which policy Obama chose?