According to latest reports, the health insurance marketplace of South Dakota will be a costly affair. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has revealed that under the federal exchange, South Dakotans would have to pay more for insurance premiums than people in neighboring states.
The study has based its findings on the facts that have come out of a close analysis of rates that will prevail in South Dakota. For comparison, the report takes into account a family of 4 with a monthly income of $50,000. Analysis reveals that South Dakotans will have to pay $141 per month after subsidies and tax credits. This means that there is a gap of $46 per month as the national average hovers around $95 per month.
Delving further into the statistics, North Dakotans will have to pay $111 while neighboring states of Nebraska and Wyoming will have to pay $113 and $81 respectively. The authorities were surprised by this. The South Dakota Division of Insurance feels that there is more to the report than the obvious facts. They maintain that their rates are competitive with any of the surrounding states, and that officials are analyzing the report further to extract more usable information.
South Dakota is part of the Federally Facilitated Marketplace and will have 32 qualified health plans available to consumers, a figure that is lower than the national average. Around the country, the average number of qualified health plans is 53. Authorities feel that this wide gap could be one reason for potentially higher premiums. Another probable cause could be the absence of the largest health plan in the market. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the largest health carrier in the region, is not participating in the exchange.
There are 105,000 uninsured South Dakotans are waiting to buy health insurance between now and January 1, 201