As we know, PPACA creates the concept of an exchange that will be available to individuals to obtain coverage, either as an alternative to employer sponsored coverage or as a replacement if an employer does not offer coverage. As we come closer to implementation of PPACA, the question continues to come up about what the exchanges will look like and how much coverage in the exchanges will actually cost. Well, we have at least a glimpse of the answer to these questions.
Today, Vermont became the first state to publish proposed rates for its exchange. The single coverage rates average between $365.76 per month for bronze coverage up through $609.47 for platinum coverage. Family rates average between $1,027.78 and $1,712.61. These averages are measured based on the options available under each level of coverage, so it might be that some coverage levels cost more or less depending on the option selected. These rates do not take into account any subsidies that might be available based on household income.
For states that have decided not to adopt an exchange, we will have to wait for a federal exchange rate to be published, or at least for some clarification of how the federal exchange rates will be determined. Plus other states will have to create their own rates based on their own compliance criteria. But for now we have at least a base point to consider moving forward. Assuming these rates remain unchanged between now and the date of implementation, we now have some idea about what exchange coverage might actually cost.