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Obamacare Premiums in Ohio Among Highest in Nation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- Monthly premiums for health insurance plans purchased through the federal exchange under the Affordable Care Act average $121 in Ohio, according to a government report.

130,000 Ohioans have signed up for the program and are getting an average subsidy of $250. That adds up to more than $32 million each month. Nationwide the number is $1.2 billion each month.

"So you're going to be seeing $11 to $12 billion right now at the end of the year, if you annualized it. And that's if premiums don't go up higher which would force the subsidies to go up higher in the future," said Greg Lawson with the Buckeye Institute.

36 states allow the federal government to operate their health insurance exchanges. Among them, Ohio had the 4th highest average premium, following New Jersey, North Dakota, and Delaware. Mississippi's average out-of-pocket premium of $23 per month was lowest in the nation. The national average is $82.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are pointing to the report as evidence that President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is working to bring down the costs to consumers.

"There are many, many people in Ohio who now can afford health coverage that could not afford it previously," said Kathleen Gmeiner, director of Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage.

She thinks the Affordable Care Act won't be able to bring down premiums, but it will help slow down the increases we see in premiums each year.

Lawson sees it differently.

"It is not the Affordable Care Act it's the Subsidized Care Act is what this is turning into," he said.

But Gmeiner argues that we're all taxpayers and are currently helping foot the bill for uninsured people who visit the emergency room for care.

"We're getting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and we're all paying for the benefits of the Affordable Care Act," she said.

 

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