Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Reflections on Obamacare

The folks at Money did a softball piece on the merits of Obamacare at the 18 month mark for "full blown Obamacare".

Let's take a look at what they had to say.
Before Obamacare, individual insurance policies often offered bare bones coverage with high deductibles and many exclusions. Now insurers must offer comprehensive coverage and can no longer deny applicants because of pre-existing medical conditions, both of which have raised the monthly cost. - Money CNN
Now after Obamacare many of my clients have higher deductibles and coverage they don't want and would rather not pay for (such as maternity).
As for annual premium increases for Obamacare plans, they vary widely. Some insurers imposed double-digit premium increases between 2014 and 2015, but others kept their monthly charge essentially flat or even lowered a bit. But since more insurers entered the market, consumers could generally shop around for a cheaper plan.
Completely discounts the 100% - 200% and sometimes even higher increases when the old policies were discontinued.

Averages are fun to talk about unless your situation is above the norm.
Few people pay the full sticker price of their health plans because of subsidies.Some 85% of the 10.2 million Obamacare enrollees receive federal subsidies, which keep their premiums to no more than 9.6% of their income.
For purposes of this fluff piece, Obamacare policies are only those bought on the exchange.

Acccording to AHIP some 19 million have individual health insurance. If 8.5 million get subsidies then another 11 million are paying full freight.
Urban Institute researchers estimate around 2.6 million lost their existing coverage. It's likely, however, that they gained insurance elsewhere.
No idea who Urban Institute is but if 19M had coverage before 2014 and 10M bought coverage on the exchange, there is a good chance that most of the 19M lost what they had and about half are getting a subsidy, the rest are paying a helluva lot more now for a plan they don't want.

OK, I've had enough fun with this for now. Time to say goodnight Gracie.

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