Today in Obamacare news: millions of Americans are getting cheap insurance, but it won't be as cheap for taxpayers as we thought. A new government report found that the average subsidized premium under Obamacare is only $82. But The Los Angeles Times' Noam N. Levey noted that higher than expected enrollment in subsidized private plans "may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections." By Levey's estimate, subsidized premiums will be $6.5 billion more than the Congressional Budget Office estimated in April — but about what was predicted in May of last year. As we've come to see, the actual enrollment numbers and the cost of paying insurance have been difficult to nail down.
In April 2014, the CBO estimated the government would pay $10 billion for subsidies. But a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 87 percent of federal exchange consumers were eligible for subsidies, costing the government on average $264 a month, per person. Factoring that in, Levey estimated the government is paying $11 billion for federal exchange subsidies and $16.5 billion overall, much more than the most current CBO estimate.