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Insurance Premiums In New Online Marketplace Will Vary By Place, Age

Flickr/Tax Credits

A new report released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds that average premiums in the new online health insurance marketplace opening Tuesday will be lower than expected in most states.

In Missouri, the average monthly insurance premium for a family of four making $50,000 a year will start at $72. That’s for the lowest level of coverage, after a tax credit.

But prices will vary depending on where in the state you live.

In St. Louis, that same low-coverage plan will cost only $32 a month – less than half the state average.

But to get more coverage, the same St. Louis family would pay $280.

And a 27-year-old St. Louisan making $25,000 a year would pay $87 a month for the lowest level of coverage.

Nationwide, people will have a choice of bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans, which will range both in price and in what health costs they will cover.

Young adults under 30 will also have the option of low-cost catastrophic plans.

But an independent analysis by Avalere Health warns that low premiums won't translate into low medical bills. According to that report, consumers can expect high deductibles, co-pays and prescription medication costs.

Avalere estimates that a single person enrolled in a mid-level coverage plan would have an average annual deductible of $2,550. That's what someone would have to pay out-of-pocket before their coverage kicks in.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter@KWMUScience

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