MINNETONKA, Minn. -- About 24,000 people in the Midwest are now enrolled in $0 premium Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans for 2018. Most of these people live in Iowa and Nebraska, where Medica is the sole insurer. The ACA open enrollment period runs through December 15.
As of November 24, about 5,000 Iowans are covered in plans that will have no premium cost. And in Nebraska, about 17,000 people will have no premium costs. About 25 – 30 percent of enrollees in those states so far have qualified for $0 premium plans. In Kansas, slightly more than 1,200 people, about 15 percent of those enrolled, qualified for $0 premium coverage. The remaining enrollees with $0 premium plans are in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.
The $0 premium plans are based on an enrollee’s eligibility for premium tax credits, which are available only through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace (www.healthcare.gov). In general, the $0 premium plans are bronze metal level plans. To receive any assistance, individuals must create or update their accounts at HealthCare.gov. The Health Insurance Marketplace determines actual savings available.
“We recognize that 2018 is a very challenging year for people who purchase health insurance on their own and that premiums are very high,” said Geoff Bartsh, vice president of individual and family business at Medica. “It is important to remember that many consumers will be able to obtain health coverage at significant price reductions through premium tax credits. This is the last week of the open enrollment period and we can’t encourage people strongly enough to shop on healthcare.gov to learn what discounts may apply to them.”