Healthcare Business News

Individual premiums higher in Northeast: analysis

By Rich Daly
Posted: August 9, 2011 - 12:45 pm ET

Monthly premiums for individual insurance policies were generally highest in the Northeast and lower in the South and Mountain States, according to a new analysis.

The Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis of 2010 data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (PDF) this week that found the average monthly insurance for individual adult or child coverage was $215. However, the cost of coverage ranged from as little as $136 in Alabama to more than $400 in Massachusetts and Vermont.

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The analysis of the data attributed some of the differences to requirements in the costliest states that insurers in those states accept all applications for coverage, regardless of any illness suffered by applicants. That could hint at the overall cost of policies on planned state insurance exchanges—mandated by the 2010 healthcare law—which will include a similar universal coverage requirement for participating insurers.

The reform law will temper the cost of the coming exchange plans to individual beneficiaries through tax credits for people with incomes up to 400% of the poverty level ($43,560 for a single individual and $89,400 for a family of four in 2011 dollars).

Data were unavailable for seven states.

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