Healthy? Obamacare may triple your premium
Much higher rates for this group could be the impact of the insurance overhaul's aim to cover the chronically ill.
The Affordable Care Act is designed to place health care within reach of all Americans, but the law may end up making insurance more costly for healthy people.
A review of proposed health care plans across eight states shows premiums for those in good health may double or even triple under Obamacare, while costs for people with chronic conditions will likely decrease, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Take the case of a 40-year-old single nonsmoker. Under the new law, he could take insurance on a "bronze" plan that covers 60% of medical costs and charges premiums of about $200 a month in most states surveyed in the study. Yet today, he could get coverage for far less.
Under a WellPoint (WLP) plan offered in Virginia via Anthem, for example, he could find a plan for only $63 per month, which covers half of medical costs.
"If a person in 2013 has a choice of buying a Chevrolet or a Cadillac health plan and in 2014 they can only buy a Cadillac, . . . are they going to be upset? I think the answer is yes," Bob Laszewski, a Virginia health care consultant, told the newspaper.
Of course, the study presents one specific case -- a healthy consumer in Richmond, Va. -- while costs could vary considerably by state. The lowest-cost plan offered on an exchange in Nashville, Tenn., for example, is now pegged at $149, or 23% less than the $193 monthly premium charged in Richmond.
Still, the findings aren't likely to win over any new fans of the health care insurance overhaul, which is already unpopular with Americans. A recent survey from CNN/ORC International found that 54% of Americans oppose the legislation, with most of those saying they feel it's too liberal.
But aside from politics, the overhaul's costs are also weighing on the minds of consumers and business owners. Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) said it's cutting hours to avoid providing health insurance for thousands of nonsalaried employees.
So who will benefit from the new plans? Most likely, chronically ill consumers who would otherwise face either extremely expensive plans or even fail to find an insurer willing to cover them. Under the overhaul, plans must be available to all Americans, no matter what their health.
As of now, much of the real prices associated with Obamacare are still unknown. When the health care exchanges roll out in October, the ultimate costs to consumers will become clearer.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
More government isn't the solution to our problems. More government IS the problem.
And this is a surprise to anyone ! ! ! ! ! ! !
This horrible law is going to take us all down into financial ruin ! ! !
In many cases we will be rewarding those who did the least to be healthy and penalizing those that did the most to maintain health.
Of course, again, this will not be the case for those who created and will enforce the law. It's just what's "best" for us peons.
People who voted for Obama should foot the bill for this garbage law.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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