Although Virginia didn’t welcome the Affordable Care Act, it still benefited from it, particularly its uninsured population. In fact, it had one of the highest enrolment numbers in the nation back in March of 2016. This, coupled with its efforts of improving its health ratings, gave it greater control over the increase in the rates this 2017. Learn more about the changes you can expect this year from health insurance in the state in this guide.

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Where the state’s health system stands

The state can definitely do better in terms of its health system, as shown in the 2015 Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance. It ranked 23rd of 51, faring above average (quintile of 2) in almost all categories, including Access, Prevention & Treatment, Healthy Lives, and Equity. However, it received a score of 3 in the category Avoidable Hospital Use & Costs. The “Healthy Lives” scorecard of the state revealed the following notable findings:

  • Mortality amenable to healthcare: 81 out of 100,000 people

  • Breast cancer fatalities: 21.8 out of 100,000 women

  • Colorectal cancer fatalities: 13.8 out of 100,000 people

  • Percentage of adult smokers: 19%

  • Adult obesity: 29%

  • Obesity in children aged 10-17: 30%

The organization further provided comparisons between the state and the nation under the Access indicator. Some of these include the following takeaways:

  • 15% of adults (19 to 64 years old) don’t have insurance, compared with the national average of 15%

  • 6% of children (infants to 18 years old) are uninsured, as opposed to the countrywide average of 6%

  • 13% of the adult population chose not to obtain insurance due to the high costs associated with it, in comparison with the 16% average in the U. S.

  • 12% of adults had expensive out-of-pocket medical bills, 4% fewer than the 16% national average

327,000 more people gained insurance between 2010 and 2015

One of the positive changes that The Old Dominion underwent is the reduction in its residents without insurance. From the 2010 uninsured rating of 13.1%, it managed to bring it down to just 9.1% in 2015, as a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services study discovered. The 4.0% decrease meant that 327,000 more residents became insured throughout the five-year study, back when it had an estimated population of 8,382,993 (2015, latest data1).

Premium average projections after application of 2017 rate increases

Virginia’s rate increases within the state exchange varies considerably, with some consumers seeing an average of as low as 10%, while others as high as 31.2%. Overall, the statewide average benchmark plan premium increased by 10%, which is still more than 50% lower than the national average increase. To have some idea on how much you would have to pay this year towards your premiums, take a look at these United States Department of Health & Human Services projections:

  • Average lowest-cost, monthly premium within metal level: $374

  • Average net premium for lowest cost plan within metal tier: $110

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $264

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $142

  • Second-lowest silver before advance premium tax credit (for a family of four with a $60,000 household income): $957

  • Second-lowest silver after advance premium tax credit (for a 27-year old with a $25,000 household income): $405

Get coverage now to avoid extremely high medical costs

Even when you qualify for one of the various exemptions to the countrywide- and statewide mandatory health insurance, you should think twice about going without insurance. This is particularly true with the ever-increasing cost of already-expensive medical and hospital services. With discounts available and various cost-reducing tactics, you don’t have to cut back on coverage, which can put you at greater risk of medical bankruptcy.

References:

https://www.healthinsurance.org/virginia-state-health-insurance-exchange/

http://datacenter.commonwealthfund.org/scorecard/state/48/virginia/

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

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

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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