Comparing average premiums for current health plans with those to be sold through publicly run exchanges is nearly impossible because the new plans will be required to cover specific services and will be subject to caps not applicable to current plans, says economist Joseph Antos, with the American Enterprise Institute. Premium estimates are based on averages, the costs will be offset by tax credits and subsidies for many people, and most people will not be buying policies through the exchanges because they have coverage through work. Moreover, the announced premiums may omit data on deductibles, copayments and plan tier.

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