Most Americans enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act are happy with their coverage. But consumers are increasingly concerned about their monthly premiums and deductibles, reflecting rising anxiety among all Americans about their medical and insurance bills, a new national survey found.
Nearly 6 in 10 working-age Americans who have a health plan through one of the marketplaces created by the law said they are satisfied with their monthly premiums, and just over half say they are satisfied with their deductibles.
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Let’s face it: When it comes to products most of us buy, health insurance is one of the least popular. And new survey results from the Kaiser Family Foundation out Friday morning find that sentiment reaching new lows.
Kaiser’s Larry Levitt said it makes perfect sense why consumers are feeling cranky about their coverage. “People are paying more, and in many cases getting less,” he said. The most obvious reason people aren’t psyched, Levitt said, is due to the explosion in health plans with high deductibles.
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Kaiser’s latest poll shows that people with ACA plans are generally satisfied with their coverage. Two-thirds say their coverage is excellent or good, but a growing number say it is only fair or poor. The poll reveals warning signs for the future: A diminishing number of participants feel their health insurance is a good value, those with high-deductible plans are most dissatisfied, and families feel it is increasingly difficult to pay off debt and save for the future.
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To see how vacuous the 2016 presidential campaign has become, consider just one issue: health reform. Exhibit 1: A new study from the liberal Urban Institute estimates that Bernie Sanders’s pet proposal for a single-payer health-care program would cost $32 trillion over the next decade. That’s right: $32 trillion! Exhibit 2: Continuing her strategy for bankrupting America just a little more slowly than Senator Sanders, Hillary Clinton is now calling for a Medicare “buy-in.” Exhibit 3: And Donald Trump’s plan for health-care reform is — well, who the heck knows? It would be helpful if, just for a little bit, we all paid attention to actual issues. Then again, given these three candidates and their proposals, maybe it’s bad news no matter what.
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Health plans are seeking double digit rate increases for their 2017 Obamacare plans—17.3% in New York, 25% in Michigan, 20% in Oregon, as examples. From special enrollment periods to countless exemptions, the Obama administration traded short term political gain for the long-term stability of the program and its risk pools. The big premium spikes for 2017 are an economic reckoning of this shortsightedness. The policy mistakes have compounded Obamacare’s woes. Fixing them will require more than regulatory tweaking.
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Health insurance is about to bear a higher price tag. Experts at the Kaiser Family Foundation just warned that premiums are likely to jump in 2017 — after increasing an average of more than 12 percent this year.
High-deductible health plans paired with tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts (HSA) have emerged as a source of a lower-cost refuge for patients, who accept the high deductible in exchange for lower premiums.
The Obama administration is trying to restrict access to HSAs. That’s a mistake. HSAs empower consumers to take control of their health care and reduce overall health spending in the process. Our leaders should be working to expand access to them, not narrow it.
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A plan the Clinton campaign unveiled in September would create a refundable tax credit worth as much as $2,500 per individual and $5,000 per family to cover out-of-pocket health-care expenses. Knowing there is a federal credit might give employees incentive to incur additional expenses to exceed the subsidy threshold. That would mean a credit aimed at mitigating the effects of rising health costs for some families could end up exacerbating the problem on a broader scale.
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Enrollment in individual health care plans, now dominated by the Affordable Care Act exchanges, fell 15.4 percent in the first quarter for the parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
At the end of March, Chicago-based Health Care Service Corp. had 1.39 million individual members, compared with 1.64 million as of Dec. 31.
The decline in individual members is even greater when compared with the first quarter of 2015. A year ago, HCSC had nearly 1.9 million individual market members.
Despite the decline in individual enrollment, the insurer set aside $431.5 million in reserves during in the first quarter to account for losses expected in its 2016 ACA business, according to first-quarter financial statements filed this week with the Illinois Department of Insurance.
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As senior House Republicans work on a promised replacement for the Affordable Care Act, a pair of GOP lawmakers plan to introduce an alternative Thursday that would dramatically reshape the nation’s healthcare system.
The sweeping legislation – co-sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) – stands little chance of becoming law as long as a Democrat is in the White House.
But just as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont shook up the Democratic presidential primary by pushing the liberal dream of a “single-payer” government-run health system, Sessions and Cassidy are resurrecting a long-held conservative goal of overhauling of the healthcare system by rewriting an important part of the tax code.
In the process, the two lawmakers are also highlighting the difficult trade-offs that would be necessary in any replacement for the health law President Obama signed in 2010, commonly called Obamacare.
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America had managed to get through the vast majority of its history without any contraceptive mandate. President Obama’s first term, all of which took place before the implementation of the directive, was not marked by a national crisis of access to birth control. The administration erred, however, when it allowed only a very narrow religious exemption, one that applied to churches but not to religious charities such as the Little Sisters of the Poor. After being slapped down by the courts once again on this issue, it makes you wonder why the Obama administration thought this entirely avoidable culture-war fight was worth starting in the first place.
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