ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.
Paul Melquist of St. Paul, Minn., has a message for the people who wrote the Affordable Care Act: “Quit wrecking my health care.”
Teri Goodrich of Raleigh, N.C., agrees. “We’re getting slammed. We didn’t budget for this,” she says.
Millions of people have gained health insurance because of the federal health law. Millions more have seen their existing coverage improved.
But one slice of the population, which includes Melquist and Goodrich, is unquestionably worse off. They are healthy people who buy their own coverage but earn too much to qualify for help paying their premiums. And the premium hikes that are being announced as enrollment looms for next year — in some states, increases topping 50 percent — will make their situations more miserable.
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Obamacare plan premiums may increase an average of 45 percent in Florida next year due to health care insurers rate hike requests, according to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation.
There are six insurers in Florida selling plans on and off the exchanges in 2018 including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Company, Florida Health Care Plan, Health First Commercial Plans, Health Options, and Molina Healthcare of Florida.
Molina Healthcare requested the highest rate increase of 71.2 percent. Individuals with this coverage can expect their monthly premium to increase from $402 to $688.
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In 47 of 50 cities surveyed, the lowest-priced plan would be officially unaffordable under Obamacare affordability standards for families earning 401% of the federal poverty level (about $82,000 per year in the contiguous US, making them ineligible for Obamacare subsidies).
Among these, the average three-person household would need to earn an additional $28,939 per year before the lowest-cost plan becomes affordable according to Obamacare rules.
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Democrats claim to have a monopoly on caring for the poor and suffering, and this week the left is portraying a GOP health-care bill as an attack on society’s vulnerable. So check out the data on how ObamaCare is a tax on some low-income families.
IRS data offers insight into who paid the law’s individual mandate penalty in 2015 for not buying health insurance, the latest year for which figures are available. Spoiler alert: The payers aren’t Warren Buffett or any of the other wealthy folks Democrats say they want to tax. More than one in three of taxed households earned less than $25,000, which is roughly the federal poverty line for a family of four.
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Residents in every U.S. county are expected to have at least one insurer to buy coverage from on Obamacare’s exchange when open enrollment starts in November, but several difficult decisions lie ahead for customers, particularly those who will not receive any help paying for their premiums.
Those customers are facing significantly higher costs for their policies, and those whose current insurer isn’t providing coverage for 2018, whether subsidized or not, likely will have to change doctors and hospitals to make sure they aren’t slammed with high out-of-pocket medical expenses.
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In Iowa, the state’s sole remaining insurer announced on Thursday that it wants to boost ObamaCare premiums by 57%. This isn’t exactly the vibrant, competitive, low-cost market that Democrats promised. But it is the inevitable outcome of ObamaCare’s government-knows-best approach to health care.
Earlier this year, Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield announced that they were pulling out of Iowa’s ObamaCare exchange, leaving only Medica, which was also threatening to leave. Not surprisingly, Medica has used its newfound monopoly status to push for increasingly higher rates, while trying to pin the blame President Trump for the increases.
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The mere existence of ACA insurance policies can’t be the only metric for measuring the success of a major federal program. Another sensible measure of ACA success is the affordability of the policies being sold. For a broad spectrum of middle-aged persons in the middle class, premiums for even the cheapest bronze policy today are, in a majority of rating areas examined, so expensive that people are formally exempt from the individual mandate.
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Next time you run into someone who minimizes the problems with Obamacare, I want you to introduce them to Fay. She’s a reasonably healthy 60 year old grandmother living in Fayette County, Illinois and earns about 450% of the federal poverty level ($53,460) working for a small employer that does not provide her with health insurance. Right now, if she wants the second lowest silver plan in her area, she needs to pay 28% of her pre-tax income in order to get it — $1,247 per month. Fay just doesn’t have that kind of money and thus lives in fear of medical bankruptcy should something go wrong.
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A majority of cities—71 percent—will see Obamacare premiums rise by double-digits next year as more health insurers drop out of the exchanges, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The foundation analyzed data in the 20 states and in Washington, D.C. that had submitted rate filings to examine how much premiums were rising and how many insurers were participating on the exchanges.
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The second-lowest silver plan is one of the most popular plan choices on the marketplace and is also the benchmark that is used to determine the amount of financial assistance individuals and families receive. Based on preliminary 2018 rate filings, the second-lowest silver premium for a 40-year-old non-smoker will range from $244 in Detroit, MI to $631 in Wilmington, DE, before accounting for the tax credit that most enrollees in this market receive.
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