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States offer an early look at health law's premiums

The No. 1 question about President Barack Obama's health care law is whether consumers will be able to afford the coverage. Now the answer is coming in.
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR Modified: September 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm •  Published: September 5, 2013
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The Obama administration didn't challenge the study, but Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said consumers will have options that are cheaper than the averages presented. “We're consistently seeing that premiums will be lower than expected,” she added. “For the many people that qualify for a tax credit, the cost will be even lower.”

With insurance marketplaces just weeks away from opening, the Avalere study crunched the numbers on premiums filed by insurers in 11 states and Washington, DC.

Eight of them are planning to run their own insurance markets, while the federal government will run the operation in the remaining four. There were no significant differences in premiums between states running their own markets and federal ones.

The states analyzed were California, Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. No data on premiums were publicly available for Texas and Florida — together they are home to more than 10 million of the nation's nearly 50 million uninsured people.