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The next round of Obamacare begins today

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michiganders can expect to pay a little more for health insurance as the next round of Obamacare starts today.

Government officials say the cost of a benchmark plan in Michigan on HealthCare.gov will increase 1.2% for 2016 coverage. Consumers could start choosing plans Sunday through the online marketplace and have until Dec. 15 to buy coverage if they want it to start Jan. 1.
 Across all 37 states using the HealthCare platform, the cost of the benchmark plan will rise on average 7.5%. Analysts say Michigan favorably compares with many other states because it's a highly competitive market with about a dozen insurers.

Some consumers will see much higher increases than the average, depending on their plan or area.

Josh Fangmeier is a senior health policy analyst with the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation.

He says the Obama administration is still struggling to get some people to sign up.

“They are really trying to find the right messaging to communicate to those adults that ‘yes, coverage is available to you,’ and you don’t necessarily need to pay the full premium that there’s financial assistance that can help with that,” says Fangmeier.

This is the third time Michiganders have had the chance to get health insurance through an online marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

More than 300,000 Michiganders have signed up for health care coverage through Obamacare.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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