Health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will be even more affordable than planned. When the health insurance marketplaces open on October 1, millions of uninsured individuals will be able to choose healthcare plans with lower premiums than originally projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week revealed that 95 percent of consumers purchasing health insurance through the marketplace live in states with average premiums below CBO estimates. Some monthly premiums are now projected to be more than 16 percent lower than originally estimated, meaning that people will soon enjoy inexpensive, quality health care options that they did not have before.

Tax credits will make health insurance even more affordable. The federal government will subsidize plans by offering tax credits to families and individuals within 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, up to $45,960 for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four. These credits will be paid directly to insurance providers, so consumers will not have to front that cost. Factoring in these tax credits, about 6 in 10 uninsured individuals will be able to purchase health insurance through the marketplace for $100 or less per month.

In a speech yesterday, President Obama emphasized that once the marketplace opens, shopping for health insurance will be as easy as booking a plane ticket or hotel room online. Each state’s marketplace, accessible through Healthcare.gov, will offer several plans from which to choose. Health insurance providers will display instant price quotes, and individuals will be able to see right away if they qualify for tax credits or other lower costs.

Enrollment begins on October 1, 2013 and runs through March 31, 2014.

Media Resources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; The White House

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