Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 2, 2013

Michigan releases cost of health plans

Associated Press

---- — LANSING (AP) — Technical glitches on launch day for Michigan’s new online health insurance marketplace couldn’t dampen the relief Hussein Daoud felt for himself, his wife and their six children.

The Detroit resident, 51, came to apply for insurance at the Dearborn-based nonprofit organization ACCESS. He learned with the help of trained counselors that his annual income of $14,500 made him eligible for Medicaid and he likely won’t have to pay for a plan that covers his family.

“This is the first time I asked for anything from the government, and I’m really glad that the government can help my family,” said Hussein, who lost his supervisory job at a dollar store when it closed a few years ago. He now sells used cars and can’t afford health care coverage.

Daoud, who came to ACCESS with his wife and youngest child, was among many uninsured residents studying a dizzying array of health care options released by the state Tuesday. No resident has fewer than 31 plans to choose from, and residents can pick from multiple plans in each level of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Residents will qualify for tax subsidies to offset premiums if they earn between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty line. That’s an income of about $11,500 to $46,000 for an individual, or $23,000 to $94,000 for a family of four.

People will pay dramatically different premiums depending on their income, family size, age, hometown and tobacco use.

Before tax credits are applied, a benchmark silver plan for a 35-year-old nonsmoker in suburban Detroit covering 70 percent of medical costs ranges from $183 to $414 a month, depending on the insurer. A 55-year-old nonsmoker’s premium spans from $334 to $755 per month before tax subsidies.