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Costs Continue To Rise Under ObamaCare

- November 13, 2015

Health Care Premiums Continue To Shoot Up For Consumers

Premiums Are Rising Significantly For Health Care Consumers For The Current Enrollment Period Which Began November 1. "Premiums are expected to rise in many parts of the country as a new sign-up season under President Barack Obama's health care law starts Nov. 1. But consumers have options if they're willing to shop, and an upgraded government website will help them compare." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Premiums Expected To Rise In Many Health Law Markets," The Associated Press, 10/23/15)

  • Experts Forecasted "Bigger Increases In 2016 Than Last Year." "Independent experts are forecasting bigger increases in 2016 than last year, averaging from the high single digits to the teens. But averages won't tell the story. Health care is local. Premiums can vary widely from state to state, and within a state." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Premiums Expected To Rise In Many Health Law Markets," The Associated Press, 10/23/15)

Higher Premiums Have Forced People To Stretch Their "Tight Household Budgets, With Other Financial Priorities, Like Car Repairs Or Putting Money In Savings Accounts." "Among the difficulties for next year: Premiums are expected to go up more than they did this year, even if taxpayer subsidies cushion the cost. The most eager customers have already signed up. And many of those remaining appear to be stretching tight household budgets, with other financial priorities, like car repairs or putting money in savings accounts." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Bigger Bite For Health Law Penalty On Uninsured," The Associated Press, 10/19/15)

Premiums For ObamaCare's Silver Plan, It's Most Popular, Are Set To Rise By 7.5 Percent In 2016 For The 37 States That Use The Federal Exchange. "Mid-level ObamaCare health policies are going to be more expensive next year, a challenge for the administration as it seeks to boost enrollment. Premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plans are going up by an average of 7.5 percent next year in the 37 states that use a U.S.-run website, the Department of Health and Human Services said Monday." (Zachary Tracer, "ObamaCare Benchmark Health Premiums Climb 7.5% On Average," Bloomberg, 10/26/15)

  • In 2014, Premiums Only Rose By 2 Percent For The Same Plan In The Federal Exchange. "Last year, those plans got 2 percent more expensive on average in 35 states. Those plans are used to calculate the government subsidies that most people get to help them buy coverage on the HealthCare.gov website." (Zachary Tracer, "ObamaCare Benchmark Health Premiums Climb 7.5% On Average," Bloomberg , 10/26/15)

The Associated Press Headline: “Significant Premium Hikes Expected Under Obama Health Law” For 2017. (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Tom Murphy, “Significant Premium Hikes Expected Under Obama Health Law,” The Associated Press, 4/28/16)

  • Large Premium Hike Requests Are Expected As States Begin To File For New Rates This Summer. “Expect insurers to seek significant premium increases under President Barack Obama's health care law, in a wave of state-level requests rippling across the country ahead of the political conventions this summer.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Tom Murphy, “Significant Premium Hikes Expected Under Obama Health Law,” The Associated Press, 4/28/16)
  • “Insurers Say The Law's Coverage Has Been A Financial Drain” Setting The Stage For Double Digit Premium Hikes. “Insurers say the law's coverage has been a financial drain for many of them, and they're setting the stage for 2017 hikes that in some cases could reach well into the double digits.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Tom Murphy, “Significant Premium Hikes Expected Under Obama Health Law,” The Associated Press, 4/28/16)

Former Obama CMS Official Michael Adelberg: "It Only Makes Sense That Most Exchange Insurers Will Request Significant Rate Increases For 2017." "'Given that most carriers have experienced losses in the exchanges, often large losses, it only makes sense that most exchange insurers will request significant rate increases for 2017,' said Michael Adelberg, a former CMS official under President Obama and now a consultant at FaegreBD." (Peter Sullivan, "Insurers Warn Losses From Obamacare Are Unsustainable," The Hill, 4/15/16)

According To Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle, ObamaCare Premium Increase Proposal’s For 2017 “Are Quite Large.” If you haven’t been following the Obamacare news recently -- and given how much else has been going on, there’s a good chance you haven’t -- then you may have missed the news that insurers' rate-increase requests for 2017 are quite large.” (Megan McArdle, Op-Ed, “Obamacare Premiums Are Going Up. Again. Now What?,” Bloomberg View, 06/21/16)

Former Obama CMS Official Michael Adelberg: "It Only Makes Sense That Most Exchange Insurers Will Request Significant Rate Increases For 2017." "'Given that most carriers have experienced losses in the exchanges, often large losses, it only makes sense that most exchange insurers will request significant rate increases for 2017,' said Michael Adelberg, a former CMS official under President Obama and now a consultant at FaegreBD." (Peter Sullivan, "Insurers Warn Losses From Obamacare Are Unsustainable," The Hill, 4/15/16)

Insurers Created Artificially Low Premiums At The Start Of Obamacare Potentially Signaling A Continuous Rise In Consumer Costs Over The Next Few Years. “Companies like Oscar were initially attracted by the potential of millions of new customers added to the individual market by the health law. But the reality has been far messier. In an effort to attract customers, insurers put prices on their plans that have turned out to be too low to make a profit. The companies also assumed they could offer the same sort of plans as they do through employer-based coverage, including broad networks of doctors and hospitals. But the market has turned out to be smaller than they hoped, with 12 million signed up for coverage in 2016. Fewer employers have dropped health insurance than expected, for example, keeping many healthy adults out of the individual market.” (Reed Abelson, “Struggling For Profit Selling Health Insurance In State Marketplaces,” The New York Times, 06/19/16)

Rising Health Care Deductibles Make It Harder For Consumers To Access Care

In 2016, 41 States Saw Deductible Increases With 17 States Experiencing Double Digit Increases. “These increases were deep and widespread. In total, 41 states saw average deductibles increase, with 17 states — representing 45 percent of total exchange enrollment — seeing double-digit spikes. The largest increases were in Mississippi (39 percent), Washington (31 percent), South Carolina (26 percent), Louisiana (24 percent), Florida (23 percent), Michigan and Vermont (22 percent), Arizona (21 percent), and North Carolina and Rhode Island (20 percent).” (Nathan Nascimento, “The Latest Problem Under The Affordable Care Act: Deductibles,” The National Review, 04/12/16)

 “Health Insurance Deductibles Has Easily Outpaced The Average Increase In A Worker’s Wages Over The Last Five Years.” “It may not seem like much — just an extra hundred dollars or so a year. But the steady upward creep in health insurance deductibles has easily outpaced the average increase in a worker’s wages over the last five years, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.” (Reed Abelson, “Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds,” The New York Times, 9/22/15)

Average Deductibles Have Increased From “$900 In 2010 For An Individual Plan To Above $1,300” In 2015 While Small Business Employees Have Even Higher Deductibles. “Those workers’ deductibles have climbed from a yearly average of $900 in 2010 for an individual plan to above $1,300 this year, while employees working for small businesses have an even higher average of $1,800 a year.” (Reed Abelson, “Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds,” The New York Times, 9/22/15)

  • "One In Five Workers Has A Deductible Of $2,000 Or More." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds," The New York Times , 9/22/15)

Americans That Purchased An Insurance Policy Through The ObamaCare Exchange Have Put Off Seeking Medical Care Due To High Deductibles. "People who buy coverage through the state marketplaces may also face high deductibles. Rebecca Bullard, 27, chose a plan this year with a $6,000 annual deductible so she could afford the $129 a month in premiums. When she worried that she had cracked a rib after playing roller derby, she chose to ask friends on social media about what to do rather than go to the doctor. Although she had a plan with a $2,500 deductible before, she had not been worried about what she would pay out-of-pocket. 'Now I don't even want to go to the doctor,' she said." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds," The New York Times , 9/22/15)

The Law Remains Unpopular Among Americans With Only 15% Believing Obamacare Has Helped Them Personally

Kaiser Family Foundation Reports That Obamacare Unfavorability Is 46% And Favorability Is 40%. (“Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: The Public’s Views On The ACA,” Kaiser Family Foundation, Accessed 7/26/16)

Deductible Prices Are One Of The Largest Sources Of Dissatisfaction With ObamaCare. “The big problem doesn’t seem to be choice of doctor and hospital, despite all the media attention to “narrow networks” in the new plans. Large majorities of customers said they were satisfied with those choices. Rather, the two largest sources of dissatisfaction, according to the survey, were premiums and deductibles.” (Jonathan Cohn, “Obamacare Consumers Are Getting Tired Of Those High Deductibles,” The Huffington Post, 05/20/2016)

A May 2016 Obamacare Survey Showed At least 53% Of Non-Group Obamacare Enrollees Are Confused By The Complex Rules Surrounding Obamacare. “The survey also finds a lack of awareness about new rules for coverage introduced by the ACA. Among all those with ACA-compliant coverage, fewer than half (47 percent) know that preventive services are covered completely by their plans, while a third (33 percent) think that copays or deductibles apply to preventive services and one in five (20 percent) are not sure. Among those in high-deductible plans, awareness is even lower: 41 know that preventive services are covered with no cost-sharing.” (Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton and Mollyann Brodie, “Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Wave 3,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 05/20/16)

A May 2016 Obamacare Survey Showed Obamacare Enrollees Increasingly View Their Plan As Providing Poor Value. “At the same time, the share of enrollees who see their plan as a good value has been declining, reflecting growing dissatisfaction with premiums and cost-sharing. Some enrollees who have had their plan for a year or more report expensive drug copays, as well as surprise medical bills and other unexpected expenses they thought their plan covered.” (Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton and Mollyann Brodie, “Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Wave 3,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 05/20/16)

A May 2016 Obamacare Survey Showed 52% Of Non-Group Obamacare Enrollees Experience Problems With Their Plans. “Among those who’ve had ACA-compliant non-group coverage for at least a year, many report having problems with their plans. Most commonly, just over a third (36 percent) say their plan paid less than they expected for a bill, about a quarter (26 percent) say their plan wouldn’t cover or required a very expensive copay for a drug prescribed by their doctor, one in five (21 percent) say they were surprised to find their plan wouldn’t pay anything for care they thought was covered, and a similar share (20 percent) say that a particular doctor they wanted to see wasn’t covered by their plan. Fewer say they wanted to visit a hospital that wasn’t covered (10 percent) or that they reached the limit on what their insurance would pay for treatment of a specific illness or injury (4 percent). About half (52 percent) report having at least one of these problems.” (Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton and Mollyann Brodie, “Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Wave 3,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 05/20/16)

Non-Group Enrollee Dissatisfaction Rose 10% From 2015 To 2016. “However, the share rating their coverage as ‘not so good’ or ‘poor’ is higher in 2016 (31 percent) than it was in the two previous waves of the survey (20 percent in 2014 and 21 percent in 2015). Non-group enrollees have consistently given their plans lower ratings than their counterparts in employer-sponsored plans, however among those with employer coverage, the share rating their coverage as ‘not so good’ or ‘poor’ is also higher in 2016 than it was in previous years.” (Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton and Mollyann Brodie, “Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Wave 3,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 05/20/16)

A May 2016 Obamacare Survey Showed That 54% Of Non-Group Enrollees View The Value Of Their Obamacare Plan As “Only Fair” Or “Poor” Marking A 12% Decrease In Satisfaction From 2015. “Similar to the trend in overall plan ratings, the current survey finds those with ACA-compliant non-group plans are less likely than in previous years to say their coverage is an ‘excellent’ or “good” value for what they pay for it. Just over half (54 percent) now rate the value of their coverage as ‘only fair’ or ‘poor’ (up from 42 percent in 2015 and 39 percent in 2014).” (Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton and Mollyann Brodie, “Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Wave 3,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 05/20/16)

A May 2016 Obamacare Survey Showed That 47% Of Non-Group Obamacare Enrollees Are Unhappy With Their Deductible. “However, satisfaction with premiums and deductibles has declined since 2014. Nearly half now say they are dissatisfied with their plan’s annual deductible (47 percent among all those ACA-compliant plans and 46 percent in Marketplace plans), and four in ten are dissatisfied with their monthly premium (43 percent and 40 percent, respectively).” (Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton and Mollyann Brodie, “Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Wave 3,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 05/20/16)


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