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 -- more choices at a lower cost than will be available for their counterparts in Manatee. In each county, the plans will be offered by a total for 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 Tuesday. All plans will include 10 essential benefits, but premiums will vary depending on tier, location and other factors.
What you pay will also depend on your age and the income-based tax credit qualifications.
Here are the lowest monthly premiums for a 27-year-old resident for the plans available to Manatee and Sarasota 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 nd coverage for less than 8 percent of their income)
Manatee -- $144
Sarasota -- $144
Florida -- $132
U.S. average -- $129