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Costs Of Health Care Plans On N.J. Health Insurance Exchange Among Most Expensive In Nation

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A report out Wednesday from the federal government finds that health insurance prices on New Jersey's exchange will be among the most expensive in the country for those without subsidies.

The report from the federal Department of Health and Human Services comes less than a week before the launch of the state health exchanges that are a key element of President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. The idea is that the exchange offers otherwise uninsured people a way to get their own insurance, in many cases with a federal subsidies.

Residents will be able to sign up for coverage starting Oct. 1, and the benefits will begin Jan. 1.

In New Jersey, and the other 35 states where the exchanges are to be run by the federal government, exact plan details have not yet been made public.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, AmeriHealth New Jersey and Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey are offering plans. All the plans will be available statewide.

The federal analysis out Wednesday finds that for a 27-year-old with low-level catastrophic insurance, the monthly premium would be $129. For a family of four with a better plan, it would be $943.

Both figures are well above the national averages and among the most expensive in the country. But federal subsidies based on income would reduce prices for many people.

The subsidies - which are technically tax breaks - work so a family with a certain income would pay the same amount for a middle-level plan no matter where they live.

For instance, a family of four earning $50,000 would pay $282 monthly for a "silver'' level plan. There would be additional costs for a more expensive plan or an upgrade to one with less out-of-pocket costs.

Individuals and families will be able to choose from a variety of bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans under the measure. The plans and their costs are based on income.

For a complete list of premiums in your state, click here.

Texas Senator Spends 21 Hours And 19 Minutes Speaking

Texas Republican spent 21 hours and 19 minutes on the floor during part of a bitter battle over the budget and the President's health care changes.

"I will speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand," Sen. Ted Cruz said.

The Senate unanimously agreed to launch a debate on a temporary house spending bill that would also remove funding for President Obama's health care law, also known as Obamacare.

The vote occurred just two hours after the Tea Party Republican finished his marathon speech.

the 42-year-old drew inspiration from interesting places.

"I want to point out a few words of wisdom from Duck Dynasty," he said.

He followed up his speech by voting 'yes' to get the plan pushed forward and keep the government running. He said that he know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid planned to restore funding to Obama Care but felt that he made his point.

"This was all about elevating the debate in the public and giving the American people the chance to speak," Cruz said.

Reid called it all a waste of time.

"For lack of a better way of describing this, it has been a big waste of time," Reid said.

While some Republicans applauded his endurance others called it pointless as it did not delay Wednesday's scheduled vote and because Republicans do not have the votes to defund Obamacare.

The democratically controlled Senate will now begin taking healthcare language away from the bill before sending it back to the house.

If an agreement is not reached in six days the government will shut down.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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