— Medical insurance premiums fell by 4% in the second quarter of 2017 compared with a year earlier, with average rates dropping by an average of 2.6%.
Premiums on the second-lowest-cost category of medical insurance dropped by 2.3% in March and 2.9% in February.
In addition, rates for the cheapest category of insurance dropped 3.5% in both March and February, the Insurance Information Institute (II) said in a report.
Average rates were 3.9%, 3.7% and 3.6% for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and TRICARE.
Medi-Cal, the nation’s largest health insurance program for the elderly, is one of the most popular options for low-income people.
Premiums for the most affordable option, a silver plan with a deductible of $6,800, fell 3.2% in 2017 from a year ago.
Premium prices for silver plans fell 2.2%, 1.4% and 0.6%, II said.
Insurers generally did not increase rates on silver plans in 2017.
The cost of covering the cost of a silver policy has fallen since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, according to II.
Insurance companies are looking for ways to attract more people to pay premiums on silver policies, which are more affordable than silver plans with deductibles, which have higher deductibles.
Premium increases for 2017 were partially offset by a drop in rates for bronze and gold plans, II said, citing data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The average annual deductible for a silver-level plan is $3,000, while a bronze-level policy costs $2,700.
Silver plans are more popular because they don’t have the higher deductibility.
But if you don’t qualify for Medicaid, or if you live in an area where there is no state or federal Medicaid, a gold plan is the only option.
Insured by the government, people with medical problems who have no insurance or pay their own premiums can get a silver program.
They pay a 10% premium tax on top of the federal tax credit, which is equal to the federal subsidy they receive from the government.
A silver plan can also be purchased by a business.
But it must have an annual deductible of no more than $5,000 for most workers.
Premium tax credits are paid by the employer and are capped at $5 million per individual.
Insurance companies typically do not offer tax credits for workers with disabilities, low-wage workers or the elderly.