Half of Americans Can't Afford More Than $100 a Month on Health Insurance Premiums

Average 40-year-old nonsmoker is paying $350 premium for Obamacare's bronze plan

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October 4, 2017

Half of Americans surveyed say they can't afford to spend more than $100 a month on health insurance premiums, according to a poll from HealthPocket.

The group asked 1,225 survey respondents in September what was the highest monthly premium they could afford to pay for health insurance in 2018.

While 50 percent said they could afford $100 a month or less, 19 percent said they could afford to spend $200 a month. Only 9 percent said they could afford $300 a month, 6 percent said they could afford $400 a month, and 5 percent said they could spend $500 a month. Eleven percent said they could afford $500 or more.

According to the report, this year a 40-year-old nonsmoker is paying an average monthly premium of $350 for the bronze plan, $411 for the silver plan, $522 for the gold plan and $623 for the platinum plan.

Premiums for Obamacare health care plans increased from 15 to 22 percent in 2017 and concern has been mounting as to the amount they will rise to in 2018.

"These survey results come at a time when there is still uncertainty and anxiety regarding 2018 rates for Affordable Care Act health plans," the survey states. "Unsubsidized consumers continue to carry the greatest concerns. Unlike consumers who have their monthly premiums limited to a fixed percentage of their income, unsubsidized consumers face the full list price of health insurance."

The report finds that while 83 percent of Obamacare enrollees receive subsidies and the average premium after subsidies in 2017 was $106, there are still those that do not receive them. For those individuals, the average unsubsidized premium totals $489, which is almost the equivalent of a new car loan.

"The survey findings present politicians with the question of what changes in regulation as well as health care delivery strategies could produce $100 a month insurance plan for the average American," said Kev Coleman, head of research and data at HealthPocket.