ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.
More than 2 million existing customers with insurance under the Affordable Care Act have had coverage renewed automatically for 2016 by HealthCare.gov, after they ignored government warnings to shop around to avoid surprise spikes in prices of health plans. According to data released Tuesday, 8.2 million people already have chosen — or have been automatically assigned to — health coverage next year through the federal insurance exchange.
Americans want to know what the next U.S. president will do to lower their rising health care costs, a priority shared by Republican and Democratic voters and second only to keeping the country safe. In all, 62% of people surveyed said they would want to know about a presidential candidate’s plan for reducing health care costs.
Using data from 49 states and Washington, D.C., the Commonwealth Fund analyzed changes in cost-sharing under health plans offered to individuals and families through state and federal exchanges from 2014 to 2015. They examined eight vehicles for cost-sharing, including deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits, and compared findings with cost-sharing under employer-based insurance.
For people without cost-sharing reductions, average copayments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket limits under catastrophic, bronze, and silver plans are considerably higher than under employer-based plans on average,
Two years ago, the Obama administration called the near-total, initial meltdown of the ObamaCare federal exchange a technical “glitch.” The term was widely ridiculed at the time, especially since it took weeks to fix the exchange’s website, healthcare.gov.
At Saturday night’s Democratic debate, front-runner Hillary Clinton called soaring health care costs and deductibles “glitches” resulting from the Affordable Care Act.
Consumers buying health insurance through federal and state exchanges will see their monthly premiums for the popular silver-level plans jump by an average of more than 11%, while also likely facing higher deductibles, a new analysis of exchange data by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows.
These increases will hike the cost of health insurance especially for customers who don’t receive federal subsidies to buy insurance, which may also limit the number of people insured under ObamaCare.
Only 7% of the uninsured correctly identify this as the deadline to enroll in coverage and 20% say they have been contacted by someone about signing up for coverage. When asked why they have not purchased health insurance this year, nearly half of the uninsured (46%) say they have tried to get coverage but that it was too expensive.
Some of my colleagues are blasting the Republican leadership for delaying three of ObamaCare’s taxes as part of the $1.14 trillion end-of-the-year tax extender and spending package scheduled for a House vote on Friday.
The legislation provides a two-year delay in the “Cadillac” tax on high-cost health insurance policies that labor unions were pleading to repeal; a two-year delay in the medical device tax that is drying up research budgets in this critical industry; and a one-year delay in the Health Insurance Tax (HIT).
Three of the nation’s largest insurance companies – Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth – have let researchers have a look at the negotiated prices they pay for services and procedures like C-sections, MRIs and hospital stays. This includes claims data for 88 million customers and $682 billion of healthcare bills. For a long time, economists like Martin Gaynor have believed the more hospitals merge, the more their monopoly power helps them drive prices up. Until now though, the evidence has been limited to single states or hospitals that have merged and it often relied on the sticker price listed by hospitals. This analysis is different because it comes from hospitals coast to coast and uses the actual amount insurers paid.
A Plain Dealer analysis of plans offered through healthcare.gov, the exchange website, shows that deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance expenses are putting up significant barriers to accessing medical care, particularly for middle-income earners. The average deductible for a silver-level plan – among the most affordable options for someone with medical needs – is $3,561 in Cuyahoga County for a 40-year-old male earning $30,000, according to the analysis. The maximum annual out-of-pocket expense for that individual averages $6,277.
Under ObamaCare, most health insurance plans must cover a set of preventive services without any cost to patients. Patients are soon discovering, however, that anything else discussed during a visit with their health care providers could cost them. “There are times when a person might be charged cost-sharing for a service that is unrelated to the screening or preventive service, while they are not charged cost-sharing for the screening or preventive service itself,” says Jesse Bushman, director of advocacy and government affairs at the American College of Nurse-Midwives. But doctors don’t always tell patients about the possibility of fees up front.