Manatee residents will have 69 Obamacare plans to choose from on 'exchange'

September 26, 2013 

People without health insurance are required to buy it by 2014 or face tax penalties. The health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act will start open enrollment for people to shop for health insurance on Oct. 1. FILE PHOTO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Manatee County residents who shop for health insurance on new federally run online marketplaces, or "exchanges," under the Affordable Health Care Act will have 69 health plans to choose from, according to information released this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

By comparison, Sarasota residents will 95 health plans to choose from -- the lowest premiums for which are lower than what is available for their counterparts in Manatee. In each county, the plans are being offered by four providers.

Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals and small-business owners will be able to shop online for health insurance plans in various tiers, including gold, silver, bronze and “catastrophic,” beginning Oct. 1. All of the plans will include 10 essential benefits, but premiums will vary depending on tier, location and other factors.

What you play will also depend on your age and the income-based tax credits you qualify for.

Here are the lowest monthly premiums for a 27-year-old resident for the plans that will be available to Manatee residents, before tax credits:

Lowest bronze (Lowest monthly premiums, highest out-of-pocket costs) Manatee -- $198

Sarasota -- $191

Florida -- $169

U.S. average -- $163

Lowest silver (Lower monthly premiums, higher out-of-pocket costs)

Manatee -- $220

Sarasota -- $213

Florida -- $200

U.S. average -- $203

Lowest gold (Higher monthly premiums, lower out-of-pocket costs)

Manatee -- $253

Sarasota -- $245

Florida -- $229

U.S. average -- $240

Lowest catastrophic (Similar to bronze, but only for those 30 and under or those who can’t find coverage for less than 8 percent of their income)

Manatee -- $144

Sarasota -- $144

Florida -- $132

U.S. average -- $129

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