Two large health insurance market makers say customers who haveto pay the full cost of their individual major medical coverage themselvesare facing big increases in premium bills for 2018coverage.


For consumers who qualify to use Affordable Care Act advancepremium tax credits, however, average increasesin out-of-pocket spending may be under 10 percent.

The data

Analysts at eHealth Inc., the for-profit company thatruns the insurance sales website, haspublished one batch of data, based on unsubsidized individual majormedical purchases made from Nov. 1 through Nov. 20.


Analysts at Connect for Health Colorado, the state-basedAffordable Care Act public health insurance exchange in Colorado,has based its data on its sales of subsidized and unsubsidized individualmajor medical sales for the period from Nov. 1 through Nov.21.

The for-profit web broker

At eHealth, which does business throughout the United States,the cost of unsubsidized, bare-bones, bronze-level 2018 coverage isaveraging $452 per month, up 21 percent from the average monthlyprice for 2017 coverage.


The average monthly cost of mid-level silver plans has increased23 percent, to $514, and the average monthly cost of gold plans hasincreased 22 percent, to $613.

The ACA exchange

In Colorado, at Connect for Health Colorado, the average cost ofunsubsidized coverage at all richness levels has increased 37percent, year over year, to $571 per month.


For Colorado residents who qualify for the Affordable CareAct advance premium tax credit subsidy, the full cost ofcoverage has increased 30 percent, to $758 per month.


But, for Colorado residents who qualify for the premiumsubsidies, the subsidies have also increased.


Because of the increase in the average subsidy level, the netamount the subsidy users are paying out of pocket for coverage hasincreased just 6.8 percent, to $157 per month.


About 63 percent of Connect for Health Colorado's earlyapplications appear to be coming in through brokers.


Another 7 percent are coming in from nonprofit helpers, or frompeople who have received help both from brokers and from nonprofithelpers.


The rest of the purchasers are signing up for coverage entirelyon their own, without help from brokers or nonprofit helpers.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.