Kansas goes against trend toward higher Obamacare rates

Dec 7, 2014

Credit kansaspublicradio.org

Premiums in the federal health insurance Marketplace are slightly higher, on average, compared to last year, but not in Kansas.  KPR's Bryan Thompson reports Kansas is bucking the trend.

A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services says the cost of the so-called “benchmark” silver plan is up an average of two per cent nationwide. But In Kansas, the benchmark plan is actually five per cent lower this year. Kansas Insurance Department spokesman Bob Hanson says that’s because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas has added a new HMO marketplace plan with premiums lower than last year’s benchmark silver. These figures don’t include tax credits that almost eight in 10 Kansas customers qualified for last year. Five companies are selling plans in Kansas this year, compared to four last year. HHS says, with those tax credits, most customers can find coverage for $100 a month or less, out-of-pocket, if they shop around.