ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

“What this means, however, is that Covered California is creating for itself a very favorable and already higher baseline from which to compare next year’s individual health insurance premiums. That’s how they’re able to create the appearance that Obamacare’s reforms will lower individual premiums. To put it simply: Covered California is trying to make consumers think they’re getting more for less when, in fact, they’re just getting the same while paying more.”

“In 2012, the average individual insurance plan cost Californians $177 per month, according to online insurance marketplace ehealthinsurance.com. Yet the report put out by Covered California lists the average “silver” plan on the exchange as costing individuals $321 per month. That’s an 80 percent increase — or even more for those who still have the freedom to go without insurance and currently pay $0 in premiums. That freedom will disappear come January.”

“In this group of current insurance purchasers, only 83 percent will still purchase if premiums rise 10 percent; 65 percent, if premiums rise 20 percent; and only 55 percent, if premiums rise 30 percent. The economic lesson is simple: As premiums rise, eventually, some consumers reach a price point at which they simply stop buying health insurance.”

“Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans that can lack key benefits such as hospital coverage. Benefits advisers and insurance brokers—bucking a commonly held expectation that the law would broadly enrich benefits—are pitching these low-benefit plans around the country. They cover minimal requirements such as preventive services, but often little more.”

“Cancer patients could face high costs for medications under President Barack Obama’s health care law, industry analysts and advocates warn. Where you live could make a huge difference in what you’ll pay.”

“The Affordable Care Act may not be so affordable for some Nevadans. The law, commonly called Obamacare, combines benefit mandates and subsidies designed to make health insurance less costly for millions of Americans who now lack coverage. But observers ranging from state insurance officials to employee benefit consultants say some consumers could see premium increases big enough to price them out of insurance markets. If that happens, fewer people than expected could buy into the system, and that might mean the difference between Obamacare’s success or failure.”

“The lack of competition in nearly a dozen states could present problems when the insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act launch in October. The exchanges are supposed to give Americans who do not get health insurance from their employers the opportunity to choose from an array of private insurance plans. The idea is to generate competition between insurers that will lead to lower premiums.”

“A labor union representing roofers is reversing course and calling for repeal of the federal health law, citing concerns the law will raise its cost for insuring members. Organized labor was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, but more recently has voiced concerns that the law could lead members to lose their existing health plans. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers is believed to be the first union to initially support the law and later call for its repeal.”

“President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats sold many Americans on the Affordable Care Act largely by emphasizing two arguments: The law would help to reduce overall health-care costs, and it would provide health insurance to those who, for financial or health reasons, cannot get it now. Unfortunately, both of these arguments are flawed.”

“What if there were a way for even small employers to escape some Affordable Care Act rules blamed for driving up costs? Some see self-insurance for medical care, which is exempt from the law’s taxes, benefit rules and price restrictions taking effect next year, as just such an opportunity… In some circumstances, self-insurance by small businesses with younger employees could cause premiums in the small-group insurance market to rise by 25 percent, according to previous research from the Commonwealth Fund and the Urban Institute.”