As the end of the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period draws near, President Obama has been making the rounds to push his signature legislation in hopes of ramping up enrollment numbers. He appeared on online parody talk show “Between Two Ferns” two weeks ago, and stopped by the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last week. During both appearances, he claimed that insurance costs could be as low as monthly cell phone bills.
“You can, at this point, get health insurance for $100 a month or less. In some cases less than your cell phone bill or cable bill,” Obama told DeGeneres.
But the math isn’t that simple.
The government announced in September that the average premium cost for Americans without subsidies would be $328 for a mid-tier silver plan, but the cost varies nationwide.
Under the ACA, subsidies are available for those making up to 400% of the federal poverty level, which comes to about $45,000 for an individual and $94,000 for a family of four. Those who do not have insurance by the end of open enrollment period will face a fine of $95 a year, or 1% of their annual income for failing to comply.