Obamacare Raises Rates January 1st
At last, at the 11th-hour, the federal government finally published the first health-care exchange premium rates for Obamacare on September 25th; signups start October 1st.
The new premium rates take effect January 1st, 2014.
The bad news…
If you are a healthy 27-year old seeking lowest-cost “bronze” coverage it will cost you 2.6 times more for federally mandated coverage than today’s rates!
That is according to data published in the Wall Street Journal:
“Prices Set for New Health-Care Exchanges” – Louise Radnofsky, WSJ,9/25/2013
The really bad news…
If you have poor health requiring expensive specialized treatments then chances are good you’ll have to pay for many of them out-of-pocket regardless of your age.
The reason for that is insurance providers have created smaller hospital/doctor networks for the new exchanges. That is necessary to lower customer costs for new mandated services.
Exchange providers cut out the most expensive hospitals and doctors from current non-exchange offerings. Many of those cut out provide unique services now unavailable to the exchanges.
Thus, an exchange patient has to seek user-paid treatment outside the exchange.
The Underside of Obamacare
The WSJ compares the newly announced Obamacare health premiums to current rates. The government didn’t do that. Why?
The WSJ made a table showing, by state, the new government exchange rates compared to current rates. There are a lot of different government numerics to chose from.
The WSJ pulled the rates for larger urban area “bronze” rates to make a realistic comparison. They did that because urban areas have the most people and are the primary target areas for Obamacare services.
Amazingly, the WSJ provides all the numbers in spreadsheet format, but doesn’t calculate the national average cost comparison between current rates and the new Obamacare exchange rates. So I did that for them.
For the 36 states listed by the government, the average Obamacare rate nationally is $169.89/month for a 27-year old seeking the lowest-cost “bronze” coverage. The current average rate is only $66.00!! That’s for the same folks under the lowest-cost conditions.
You’ll see the government tables do national average calculations, too, and they differ slightly from the WSJ figures. The differences, though, are minor.
Bottom line, come October 1st, insurance will cost, on average, 2.6 times more for healthy non-smoking 27-year olds than it does today!
More Dirty-Side Down Obamacare
Yes, it’s true, you can’t be turned down for preexisting conditions under Obamacare. That’s its most popular feature.
It is equally true that, though insurance providers must provide coverage, they can offer coverage with fewer choices… so they do. Many of the most expensive hospitals, procedures and doctors that they include in their regular plans are not included in their cheaper Obamacare exchange offerings.
That is made necessary in order to provide affordable coverage for all the new Obamacare mandated health-care services which raise overall health care costs. You can’t get something for nothing. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
That leaves more out-of-pocket customer expenses if they have to seek specialists and treatments outside the exchange’s smaller set of choices.
Obamacare is an implementation disaster area. Making health care 2.6 times more expensive for the young is just the latest distasteful defect found in “The Affordable Care Act“.
Even though the law was passed 3.5 years ago, it still isn’t ready to go:
- The employer mandate is delayed
- Medicaid eligibility checking is delayed
- The Administration is doling out special exemptions like candy, including to themselves
- Many workers won’t keep their current insurance, as promised
- The exchanges provide less service with fewer choices
- Employers are cutting hours and hiring to avoid Obamacare costs
And that is just what we can see. What we can’t see is taxpayer costs from the 30+ million more newly eligible Medicaid recipients beginning January 1st.
No one knows how much that will cost, but it’ll be massive.
Worse yet, anyone can claim free Medicaid services by just fibbing. The government’s verification process to detect cheaters isn’t ready yet. Honest, the government is depending on the honor system to prevent fraud!!
The only people not given any breaks are middle class Americans. They still suffer the individual mandate with few subsidies while businesses are granted a reprieve and cheaters can freely claim Medicaid.
You asked for it. You got it. Welcome to Obamacare!