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Feds say health care tax credits working

– The Americans who qualify for tax credits through the new federal insurance exchange are paying an average of $82 a month in premiums for their coverage – about one-fourth the bill they would have faced without such financial help, according to a new government analysis.

But the analysis shows wide variations among states in the premiums that people are paying for their new insurance; the amount the government is picking up; and the proportion who qualify for the subsidies.

The 28-page report, by the Department of Health and Human Services, is the government’s first effort to gauge the affordability and availability of health plans under the Affordable Care Act, now that the first insurance sign-up period has ended.

Federal health officials, who insisted on briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, said the report’s results buttress the Obama administration’s contention that the new insurance marketplaces are working.

The government earlier said 87 percent of the 5.4 million Americans who chose a health plan through the federal health exchange qualified for some financial help.

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