Fun With ObamaCare Exchanges: Idaho Version

Supporters of ObamaCare have come up with some clever ways of making the premiums on the ObamaCare exchanges look quite good.  For example, one common refrain found in this HHS report was repeated endlessly by the media: “Premiums before tax credits will be more than 16 percent lower than projected.”

However, that is a comparison of the exchange premiums to the model created by the Congressional Budget Office to estimate premiums.  In other words, it is not a comparison of exchange premiums to premiums currently in existence.

Another way of making exchange premiums look good is to compare those in one state to those in other states, as Joy Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures told the Idaho Legislature:

She offered some figures for a 27-year-old, before any tax credits: For the lowest “bronze” level benefit plan, the average was $163 a month; Idaho’s rate is $150. For the lowest silver plan, average was $203, Idaho’s is $182; and for the lowest gold-level plan, average is $240 and Idaho’s rate is $211. For catastrophic plans, Idaho was slightly above the average for a 27-year-old, at $134, compared to $129.

Well, that method works as long as you are in a state that is near or below average.  That wouldn’t work so well in Indiana or Alaska given the numbers in the report.

So, let’s compare Idaho ObamaCare exchange prices to those on ehealthinsurance for a single, childless 27-year-old earning $25,000.  According to page 9 of the report, in Boise, Idaho the lowest catastrophic plan is $128 for a 27-year-old, while the lowest Bronze plan is $145, and the lowest Bronze plan with a subsidy is $101.  Here are three cheapest plans from for a 27-year-old male living in the zip code 83704:

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