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Obamacare sticker shock may not be what it seems thanks to tax credits

by Lauren Mandel

Recently released Obamacare rates are yet another example of why we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

On the surface, Obamacare rates for 2017 seem to have skyrocketed compared to past years of Open Enrollment. However, the rates alone don’t tell the full story. A piece published by NPR outlines that while yes, rates are increasing in many states, tax credits (the government subsidies that lower costs for most Americans) are also increasing. So while premium estimates might seem high, they’ll likely be lowered significantly once tax credits are applied.

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The government confidently states that more than 70 percent of people buying Obamacare plans can actually pay less than $75 per month for their coverage, assuming they take advantage of tax credits. Like we’ve mentioned before, 2.5 million Americans are actually missing out on tax credits to help lower their monthly costs. If you think you might be eligible, it’s important to investigate before enrolling in a 2017 plan.

Similar to sentiments we’ve expressed in the past, the government agrees that shopping around could also help save consumers money. More than 75 percent of shoppers could save just by switching to the lowest-cost plan within their level of coverage. This further proves the importance of exploring all plan options for 2017, rather than sticking with your current coverage. If you don’t come back to shop, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars.

The bottom line: Don’t let recent news stories scare you away from finding an Obamacare plan. You still have choices, and those choices might even involve lower costs. Last year, 85 percent of enrollees qualified for lower costs, and that number has the potential to be even higher.

If you’re not sure whether or not you’re eligible for tax credits, call 888-322-7557 to speak with one of our licensed agents who can help you find out.

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