In an effort to encourage people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, the Obama Administration has boosted the low cost of premiums — the part that is subsidized. What they aren’t mentioning is that in exchange for low monthly costs, enrollees face high deductible costs.
“Most Americans will find an option that costs less than $75 a month,” President Obama said. Additionally, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, issued a report analyzing premiums in the 38 states that use HealthCare.gov. “Eight out of 10 returning consumers will be able to buy a plan with premiums less than $100 a month after tax credits,” she said.”
The trade-off for low-ish premiums means that many Obamacare plans have high deductibles. “The Internal Revenue Service defines a high-deductible health plan as one with an annual deductible of at least $1,300 for individual coverage or $2,600 for family coverage.”
But in many states, deductibles are even higher than that. According to Hot Air, “in many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through HealthCare.gov, the federal online marketplace, have a deductible of $3,000 or more. Once you add in several hundred dollars per month for your plan premium, a rate that may or may not be lower than it used to be and add in a $3,000 or more deductible, the average individual could be paying over $5,000 out of pocket in a year before their ‘affordable’ insurance kicks in. This is true for employer sponsored plans as well.”
These costs are exorbitant for working class families. If they are already needing to seek health insurance and subsidies through the Obamacare exchanges, how can they possibly have the capability to find several extra thousand dollars in their budgets in order to pay out-of-pocket costs to meet their deductibles before their insurance really kicks in. With unemployment high and wages flat, these rising deductibles (and also premiums in many cases) hit Americans hard.
And don’t forget, plans purchased are for 2016. The Obamacare penalty fee continues to ramp up for those who decide to forgo health insurance coverage entirely for this coming year. Those considering opting should be reminded of what the financial costs will be to do so.
Your penalty tax is the greater of either 1) a flat-dollar amount based on the number of uninsured people in your household; or 2) a percentage of your income. If you are able to go by the flat-dollar amount, the fee increases to $695 in 2016 plus half that amount for each uninsured child under age 18. Your total household penalty is capped at three times the adult rate. If you qualify for the percentage of your income, it is 2.5% for this coming year.
It is increasingly clear as we continue along the path of the Affordable Care Act that this legislation truly is not affordable.