Report: ‘Obamacare’ plans can be less expensive than employer plans

Rosemary Cabelo uses a computer at a public library to access the Affordable Health Care Act website, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texans are now using some of the first plans under the Affordable Care Act — or Obamacare — marketplaces.

A new report shows the marketplaces may have lower-costing plans than coverage through work.

A new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute found the average work plan premium was $6,119.

The median cost on the public exchange was four percent less at about $5,844.

The report however, says the trade off may be doctor and hospital choices.

Still, the premiums aren’t better for everyone.

In September, KXAN News started following the Ventimiglia family through the marketplace enrollment process.

“I was pleasantly surprised and very excited,” said Jill Ventimiglia, who was looking to get new coverage. “I can’t wait until Oct. 1.”

When the enrollment period began in October and after the computer problems eased her father, who was helping her enroll, found premiums that were higher than they expected. Still, Robert Ventimiglia, Jill’s father, saw some positives in the plan.

“Her insurance company was always rejecting some of the doctor visits because it was preexisting,” Robert Ventimiglia said.

Now, the new plan should save Jill money on deductibles and cover pre-existing conditions — which is a requirement of the law.

Robert Ventimiglia also found the plans he was exploring for his wife were too expensive. They went with a plan offered through their last insurance company. It’ll last through this year.

“There was no benefit to us for paying almost twice as much for insurance that had a higher deductible and coverages that we can’t use,” said Robert Ventimiglia.

Still, the new report found the plans in the marketplaces to be comparable or less expansive to similar employer plans.

“The comparison data may make public exchanges an attractive alternative for employers in the future,” the report reads. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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