From Health Affairs:
More than 11 million Americans below the age of 65 are now covered by private individual health insurance plans. A new study, released today by Health Affairs as a Web First, measured the actuarial value (the percentage of medical bills an insurance company pays) for a sample of 2010 health plans offering group and individual policies, and found that the majority of individual plans fell below the minimum standards and benefits required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
The Affordable Care Act sets up four tiers of health plans for consumers to purchase, ranging from platinum (90 percent actuarial value or better) to bronze (60-69 percent). According to authors, the average actuarial value for group health insurance plans was 83 percentsafely in the gold range. For individual insurance plan values, they found that 51 percent of the policies they examined had an actuarial value of less than 60 percent, the bottom of the bronze range. These “tin” plans had benefits and values below the minimum requirements established under the Affordable Care Act for future state-based exchanges.
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