Ohio unveils details on plans in health exchanges

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials say health insurance rates could increase an average of 18 percent for small businesses and 41 percent for individuals participating in plans in the new marketplaces created by federal law.

Individuals can get private health insurance, subsidized by the federal government, through the so-called exchanges. Open enrollment starts Oct. 1, and coverage takes effect in January.

Ohio chose to let Washington operate the exchange, instead of setting up its own.

The Ohio Department of Insurance said Thursday that its figures don’t take into account any government help that consumers could get to pay for the coverage.

Specific premiums will vary for consumers, depending on their current plans. But the increase in rates is partly due to the more extensive benefits the law requires consumers to have.

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