A Check is in the Mail for 6.8 million People

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Updated: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:24:32 EST

More than 6.8 million Americans will get a refund from their health insurer this summer.

Total value of the rebates will be $332 million, with an average of $80 going to each family. They'll be issued by August 1.

Thank the Affordable Care Act for the windfall. Under one of the law's provisions, insurers must issue refunds if they spend more than 20% of what customers pay in premiums on administration and marketing expenses, instead of medical care.

Insurers were first required to issue these refunds in 2012, shelling out a total of $1 billion to consumers. The total dollar amount of refunds has decreased each year since then, as insurers have adjusted to charging less for premiums and operating more efficiently. Insurers paid back $504 million to customers in 2013.

The market for individual insurance policies has made the biggest gains in efficiency, spending 11.5% of premiums on overhead costs last year, down from 15.3% in 2011.

Individuals will either receive a check in the mail, a direct reimbursement to a bank account, or as a discount to future premiums.

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