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Premiums released in Ga. for health overhaul plans

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA - A health insurance plan in Georgia will cost an average of $304 a month when purchased on an exchange run by the federal government as part of the health overhaul, according to a federal report released Wednesday.

The study released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services examined the cost of insurance plans available on the exchanges for 36 states, including Georgia, that will be run by the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, opposed the health insurance overhaul from President Barack Obama's administration and opted against having Georgia's state government run the system.

Consumers will start buying insurance on the exchanges starting Oct. 1.

Federal officials said the cheapest silver-level health plan in Georgia will average about $304. Consumers can pick from four levels of coverage, from bronze to platinum. While the plans cover the same benefits and cap out-of-pocket expenses, the lower-tier plans require that consumers pay more in deductibles and copayments.

By comparison, the average price for the same coverage ranged from $192 in Minnesota to $489 in Wyoming.

Averages can be deceiving. Prices can vary depending on where people live, the size of their families, age, tax credits and whether a consumer smokes. For example, a 27-year-old consumer living in Atlanta would pay $188 a month for the low-cost silver plan, significantly under the statewide average. That price is before a consumer receives tax credits to defray the cost.
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