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October 3, 2013
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New local health premiums higher than urban areas

Where you live and what you make will impact your cost of health insurance, according to state exchange rate websites and experts.

As legislators continue to debate how the Affordable Care Act will be implemented around the nation, state health exchanges opened Tuesday.

There are laws that could affect insurance rates and total cost before they go into effect Jan. 1, but the exchange rates were in place as of Tuesday, according to state exchange websites.

STATELINE

Douglas County also shares a health district with Storey, Lyon and Carson City counties. Douglas’ district is the second most expensive in the state. Washoe County’s district, which includes a few other counties, is the third most expensive. The area around Las Vegas has the cheapest costs. Rural areas in Nevada have health care costs that can be as much as $50 to $150 more than their urban counterparts, according to statistics on the Nevada Division of Insurance website.

Douglas County’s insurance rates are slightly higher than the urban area, with 25-year-old’s cheapest premium at $30 higher and most expensive and about $75 higher for the most expensive coverage. Forty-year-olds will pay almost $50 more for the cheapest plan and more than $80 more for the most expensive.

Tax credits for those who qualify can greatly reduce some of these costs. A list of these qualifications can be found at the Health Coverage Tax Credit website run by the Internal Revenue Service. This in turn can affect the difference in prices.

Nevada Division of Insurance determines and monitors areas when they administer certification for approved policies. The reason why location matters is because of offsetting costs in specific areas where distance from services can drive up service costs.

Nevada Health Insurance Exchange communications officer CJ Bawden said, for example, if someone breaks their arm in Las Vegas, they can be taken to a clinic or to a nearby hospital. But if that happens in a rural area, it may take more resources to get that person to a proper facility, and the higher premiums are in place to offset those possible costs from ambulance rides or helicopter flight.

It all depends on the plan for which someone qualifies.

SOUTH SHORE

According to figures from California Health Benefit Advisers, El Dorado County is in California’s No. 3 region. In the 25-year-old group, $169 is the cheapest premium, also known as catastrophic, with $222 at the highest, known as bronze. The county’s 40-year-olds have cheapest $250 bronze plan and $687 at the highest, platinum, however there are companies that will offer platinum coverage at $467.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Oct 3, 2013 07:29PM Published Oct 4, 2013 08:11PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.