The average family of four will see a 4% drop in its premium for a benchmark plan on the HealthCare.gov Marketplace in 2020, compared with 2019, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
That family’s $1,520 premium for coverage next year will, however, be 74% higher than the average of $873 for the same plan in 2016. The situation is similar for a single person with a benchmark plan – defined as the second-lowest-priced Marketplace health insurance plan in the Silver category. The average premium for a 27-year-old, $388, for coverage in 2020 also will be 4% lower than in 2019, but that’s still 62% higher than in 2016, CMS said in a recent report.
The 4% average reductions for 2020 follow a 1% decrease for a 27-year-old on the benchmark plan and a $1 increase for a family of four between 2018 and 2019. “We have been committed to taking every step possible to lower premiums and provide more choices. A second year of declining premiums and expanding choice is proof that our actions to promote more stability are working. But premiums are still too high for people without subsidies,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.
Consumers looking for health care coverage on 1 of the 38 state exchanges during the upcoming open enrollment period (Nov. 1 to Dec. 15) also will have more choices. The average number of qualified health plans available to enrollees will be 37.9 for the 2020 plan year, compared with 25.9 for 2019 and 24.8 in 2018. The number of companies issuing those plans also rose for the second consecutive year, going from 132 for the 2018 plan year to 155 in 2019 and 175 in 2020, CMS reported.