Sixty Percent of Americans Will Pay $100 or Less for Health Care

Affordable Care Act health insurance plans can cost less than your monthly cellphone bill. 

Posted: 09/19/2013 12:31 PM EDT

With the Health Insurance Marketplace opening in less than two weeks, a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gives some hope to those who worry that they won’t be able to afford quality health care.

“The health care law is making health insurance more affordable,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a White House press release. “With more than half of all uninsured Americans able to get coverage at $100 or less, the health care law is delivering the quality, affordable coverage people are looking for.”

To be specific: Sixty-percent of those who qualify for health care can purchase plans for $100-or-less premiums thanks to subsidized programs for low-income and middle classes. Of the 41.3 million individuals who are uninsured and eligible for coverage, 23.2 million (56 percent) may qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or other tax credits.

There is an estimated 6.1 million people who can access these cheaper plans.

It’s important to note that these $100-or-less estimated plans apply for those who enroll in the silver plans — the second cheapest plan being offered. Silver plans pay for 70 percent of a person’s health care.

Regardless of which plan someone chooses — bronze, silver, gold or platinum — all plans will offer essential benefits. Essential benefits include some of the following: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health, prescription drugs and pediatric care.

So who exactly qualifies for these subsidized $100-or-less health care programs? Americans who make less than 400 percent of the poverty level, or $94,200 for a family of four.

This new report confirms what past studies about the Affordable Care Act has told us — that most Americans will not have higher premiums. A recent Kaiser Foundation estimates that 48 percent of the Americans who need to buy insurance on the marketplace will receive federal subsidies to help them afford it, Change.org reported. Not to mention young people benefit even more, making them the group that could save the most money from these subsidies.

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  (Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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