CHCFreeBronzePlans SUMMARY: As many as 7 million  people may qualify for insurance that is entirely or almost entirely paid for by U.S government subsidies.  

In some states, as many as 40 percent of the currently uninsured will be able to get health insurance for a $0 monthly premium, because their income level brings a full subsidy from the U.S. government under the Affordable Care Act, we learned the other day from The New York Times.   For others, the subsidy will be big enough that they will be paying under $100 for coverage, with the government picking up the rest of the tab. The chart here at right is embedded in a report you can find at this link or by clicking on the image above at right; to find the state-by-state charts, you must  scroll down in the report. Analyses from three separate companies were cited in the article by Reed Abelson and Katie Thomas of The Times, which said: “Three independent estimates by Wall Street analysts and a consulting firm say up to seven million people could qualify for the plans, but federal officials and insurers are reluctant to push them too hard because they are concerned about encouraging people to sign up for something that might ultimately not fit their needs. …

“The bulk of these plans are so-called bronze policies, the least expensive available. They require people to pay the most in out-of-pocket costs, for doctor visits and other benefits like hospital stays. …

“The availability of the zero-premium plans varies across the country. McKinsey found that about 40 percent of the uninsured in Missouri will be able to select a no-cost bronze plan, for example, compared with 2 percent of the uninsured in New Jersey.”

One of the reports, by Credit Suisse, has a state-by-state, income-level specific breakdown of who will pay what. Curious about your state? They’re all there; the charts also show the premium level/subsidy level at various income points.

Looking for other calculators and tools for the exchanges? Here’s our “Finding Insurance” page, which will help you find other resources.

Among the things you’ll find there:

Want to know the rates in your state? Here’s a handy state-by-state update from Kaiser Health News.

Premium rates in the 36 states where the feds are running the exchanges may be found here.

Not sure where your state’s exchange is? Find it here, on

Planning to go without, or wondering if you should? This calculator tool walks you through some of the calculations of what penalty you might expect for an individual; this tool walks you through what  penalty you might expect for a family.

Do you have cancer or some other serious illness? Questions to ask in this Cancer Insurance Checklist,  and a website for people with AIDS giving insurance tips, from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

An extremely thorough step-by-step handbook from Trudy Lieberman at CJR. Read. This. Now.

The most important points of the Affordable Care Act, collected into two pages, in a complete once-over-lightly.




Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...