Zeke Emanuel is tired of paying for your expensive medicine. Dr. Emanuel, who served in a senior position at the Office of Management and Budget where he contributed to the recurring nightmare known as Obamacare, recently complained in the New York Times [“I Am Paying For Your Expensive Medicine”] that his insurance rates are high because the medicines you’re taking cost too much.
While the Affordable Care Act has achieved a second victory before the Supreme Court and produced significant coverage gains, it might also have produced a less positive outcome: in an NBER working paper, Penn LDI colleagues Mark Pauly, Adam Leive and Scott Harrington found that a large portion of non-poor (measured by income above 138% of the poverty level) who gained coverage now have a higher financial burden and lower welfare (well-being) than when they were uninsured. The authors call this extra burden a “price of responsibility” for complying with the individual mandate to purchase coverage.
With the health insurance markets open for next year’s enrollment, Eve Campeau says she’s planning to look carefully at the fine print. Last time she shopped, she switched to a plan with a lower monthly premium, but found herself paying far more out-of-pocket for medications and doctor visits. While she might be saving money on the premium, she is reluctant to go to seek medical care because of the up-front cost.
Asking whether the Obamacare Cadillac tax will increase worker wages might seem nonsensical on its face. But wait until you hear the answer: yes AND no. Don’t worry: Schrodinger’s cat hasn’t wandered into the thicket of health policy (nor am I channeling my inner two-handed economist). It’s a trick question: the answer depends on whether employers respond to the Cadillac tax by trimming health benefits to avoid the tax, or instead simply keep their health benefits as is and pass the tax onto their employees. For employers who trim health benefits I have a high degree of confidence that on average, worker wages will rise. For employers who absorb the Cadillac tax increase, average worker wages will fall.
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the 2016 premium data for the “benchmark” plans in the states using federal exchanges. … This data, which showed premiums rising an average of 7.5 percent, is useful. But it is limited. We’d like to think that this tells us “how much premiums went up,” but it’s not that simple.
Higher deductibles are prompting some consumers to skip or postpone doctor visits because they are unable to afford the additional out-of-pocket costs. Too many consumers only factor in the amount of the monthly premium and discount the importance of other criteria such as the cost of the copayments, prescription drugs and deductible. As more companies are increasingly shifting a larger percentage of health insurance costs to their workers, consumers need to examine all options.
“Cheap” could cost you more for Obamacare next year. People who buy the cheapest health plans on the biggest Obamacare exchange without getting financial assistance are facing the largest increases for premiums and out-of-pocket costs in 2016, new analyses show.
In Tennessee, the state insurance commissioner approved a 36 percent rate increase for the largest health insurer in the state’s individual marketplace. In Iowa, the commissioner approved rate increases averaging 29 percent for the state’s dominant insurer. Health insurance consumers logging into HealthCare.gov on Sunday for the first day of the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment season may be in for sticker shock, unless they are willing to shop around. Federal officials acknowledged on Friday that many people would need to pick new plans to avoid substantial increases in premiums.
Obamacare premium costs will soar 20.3 percent on average in 2016 instead of the 7.5 percent increase claimed by federal officials, according to an analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The discrepancy is because the government excluded price data for three of the four Obamacare health insurance plans when the officials issued their recent forecast claiming enrollees would face only a 7.5 percent average rate increase in 2016.
As eligible Americans today begin to examine health insurance plans on the government’s exchange under the Affordable Care Act’s annual open enrollment period, they will find 2016 premiums that have jumped on average by double-digit percentages compared to this year and 2014.