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Although Arizona still faces numerous health insurance-related problems, you can still get the most suitable coverage, as long as you pay attention to the changes.

What the state’s health insurance industry faces this year

A hike of as much as 116% awaits many of the state’s residents this year. Your individual quotes will still depend on a variety of other factors though, including where you live.

The percentage of uninsured individuals in a certain area impacts premiums. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services though, the state’s insured rating had a 6.1% increase. This means that from its estimated population of 6,828,065 (2015, latest data1), an additional 410,000 people gained coverage.

Contents

Health rankings

Another major factor that has a considerable effect on the Grand Canyon State’s premiums is its overall health ranking.

The 2015 Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance ranked the state 33rd out of 51. Some of the key findings include:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 72 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 20.6 out of 100,000 women

  • Colorectal cancer fatalities: 13.3 out of 100,000 individuals

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 15%

  • Adult obesity: 30%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 37%

The final score also took into consideration these percentages:

  • Adults (19 to 64 years old) without insurance: 18% vs. U. S. average of 15%

  • Children (infants to 18 years old) without insurance: 10% vs. countrywide average of 6%

  • Adults without insurance due to its high costs: 16% vs. national average of 16%

  • Adults who had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills: 6% higher than the entire country

Metal tiers and how much insurers will cover

Most insurance providers offer the four different types of coverage, known collectively as metal tiers. The bigger the portion the company will cover, the lower your potential out-of-pocket medical expenses. Below is the portion of the bill the insurer should shoulder:

Bronze – 60%

Silver – 70%

Gold – 20%

Platinum – 90%

Bronze
Silver
Gold
Platinum

To help consumers in this particular state have an idea set realistic expectations when it comes to premiums, the United States Department of Health & Human Services provided the following premium averages:

  • Average lowest-cost, monthly premium within metal level: $620

  • Average net premium for lowest cost plan within metal tier: $173

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $422

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $1,529

The exemptions to the rule

People exempt from having health insurance don’t have to face the corresponding penalty. There are certain conditions they need to meet though, such as:

  • Marketplace affordability and job-based exemptions

  • Having an income below the tax filing threshold

  • Hardship exemptions

  • Health coverage-related exemption

  • Group membership exemption

Before you finalize your decision of not obtaining coverage, keep in mind the possibility of you getting sick and paying for shockingly high medical and hospital bills

Decrease in poverty rate and the population without insurance

A lot of people go without insurance primarily due to the high costs associated with it. This is especially true for those who live below the poverty line. The country, albeit slowly, sees improvements in its poverty rating. In 2014, this was up at 14.8%. The following year, it went down by 1.20%. The increase in the national household income average from $53,718 to $56,516 is one of the primary reasons behind this.

Making coverage more affordable

You don’t have to compromise the overall quality of your insurance just to cut back on costs. Aside from the Obamacare plans, you’ll find offers from private insurance companies that you can quite easily fit in your budget.

Remember: making the right health and lifestyle options can dramatically bring your premiums down.

References:

https://aspe.hhs.gov/compilation-state-data-affordable-care-act

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/4/arizona/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/212721/2017MarketplaceLandscapeBrief.pdf

https://www.healthcare.gov/health-coverage-exemptions/forms-how-to-apply/

1Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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