CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Most people in West Virginia will pay less in health insurance premiums through the state's health insurance exchange than they would have in the regular insurance market before the federal Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, according to a state-commissioned actuarial study.
The rates are dependent on getting younger, healthy people to sign up for insurance, officials added.
"There's very few that are going to fall into this demographic of paying more, and most are going to qualify for subsidies," Brandon Merritt, a health policy analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said Thursday at a meeting of the Health Care Implementation Coalition. "That's going to actually be a good deal in the long term."
Couples who are 40 years old and make between $20,628 and $31,020 a year will have 82.3 percent lower premiums than they would have otherwise, according to the study.
A couple aged 60 making the same amount will save 90.4 percent on their insurance premiums.
Most women will pay less in insurance premiums in the health exchange than they would have in the regular insurance market, according to the study.
For instance, a 40-year-old woman who makes between $34,470 and $45,960 will see her premiums drop by 9.6 percent in 2016.
A 60-year-old woman making the same amount will see her premiums fall by 43 percent.
"For women, even at age 40, there's a decrease, particularly low income [women]," said Renate Pore of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care. "... Even the higher income ones will see a decrease, and that means they can actually get real coverage ... no gender ratings, no pre-existing conditions, no drop-you-when-you-get-sick.