A report out Wednesday from the federal government finds that health insurance prices on New Jersey's exchange will be among the most expensive in the country for those without subsidies.

 

Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

The report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services comes less than a week before the launch of the state health exchanges that are a key element of President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. The idea is that the exchange offers otherwise uninsured people a way to get their own insurance, in many cases with a federal subsidies.

Residents will be able to sign up for coverage starting Oct. 1, and the benefits will begin Jan. 1.

In New Jersey, and the other 35 states where the exchanges are to be run by the federal government, exact plan details have not yet been made public.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, AmeriHealth New Jersey and Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey are offering plans. All the plans will be available statewide.

The federal analysis out Wednesday finds that for a 27-year-old with low-level catastrophic insurance, the monthly premium would be $129. For a family of four with a better plan, it would be $943.

Both figures are well above the national averages and among the most expensive in the country. But federal subsidies based on income would reduce prices for many people.

The subsidies — which are technically tax breaks — work so a family with a certain income would pay the same amount for a middle-level plan no matter where they live.

For instance, a family of four earning $50,000 would pay $282 monthly for a "silver" level plan. There would be additional costs for a more expensive plan or an upgrade to one with less out-of-pocket costs.


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