N.Y.: Individual health insurance 50% cheaper under Obamacare

Close up of a medical insurance form iStockphoto

Amid a House debate to repeal mandates in the Affordable Care Act, the White House Wednesday boasted about Obamacare's projected cost-reducing effect for New Yorkers purchasing their own health insurance.

Insurance plans approved by New York State for its health care exchange under Obamacare are projected to offer an average of 50 percent lower premiums starting Oct. 1, according to Democratic N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

"New York's health benefits exchange will offer the type of real competition that helps drive down health insurance costs for consumers and businesses," Cuomo said in a statement. "The opportunity to choose among affordable, quality health insurance options will mean improved health outcomes, stronger economic security, and better peace of mind for New York families."

Current $1,000 rates could drop to as low as $380, the governor's office predicted. It's welcome news for Obamacare advocates who touted the announcement as an example of the law's positive impact.

"Competition and transparency in the marketplaces, plus the hard effort by those committed to making the law work, are leading to affordable, new and better choices for families," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. "We're going about the business of implementing a law that provides those benefits."

President Obama is scheduled to continue selling his health care plan Thursday during a speech where he'll lay out rebates that 8.5 million Americans are scheduled to receive under the law, Carney said.

California and Oregon have delivered similar news as New York with lower insurance rates for individuals than expected.

Most won't be affected by this announcement as a majority of Americans receive healthcare from an employer. It's "unclear" how the Affordable Care Act will affect premiums for these individuals, Healthcare Association of New York State spokesperson Melissa Mansfield told CBSNews.com.

"We support any and all efforts to expand coverage for un- and underinsured Americans," Mansfield said. But "we want to examine if this exchange will allow adequate options."

House Republicans on Wednesday are voting on delaying both of the mandates under Obamacare -- the employer mandate requires most businesses to provide insurance, while the individual mandate requires most Americans to obtain insurance either from their employer, the private market or through the government. Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced they are delaying the business mandate until 2015.

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