Here's one state benefiting from Obamacare

New Yorkers will see lower health care premiums with the Affordable Care Act. Then again, they have some of the highest rates around.

By Aimee Picchi Jul 17, 2013 1:20PM

Insurance Policy (© Don Carstens/Brand X Pictures/Jupiterimages)As concerns rise about how the Affordable Care Act will affect health insurance rates, residents of one state are getting some good news. 


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that individuals buying their own health insurance will see rates that are, on average, 50% below those currently offered by insurers, The New York Times reports. 


While that's surely a success story for the health care insurance overhaul, a footnote is attached to those lower rates: New York is coming off some of the highest insurance premiums in the country. 


The Empire State currently suffers from high rates because it requires insurers to accept customers regardless of preexisting conditions, but it doesn't mandate that all residents carry insurance. As a result, the young and healthy don't have a reason to buy coverage, pushing up the costs for those who do. 


The numbers show a startling picture. The state has 19.6 million residents, with 2.6 million of them uninsured. Only 17,000 New Yorkers actually purchase health insurance individually, The Times noted. 


"If there was any state that the ACA could bring rates down, it was New York," Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University, told the publication. 


Currently, a Manhattan family faces monthly costs of anywhere from $3,225 to as high as $7,052 for a health care plan bought on the open market from insurers including Aetna (AET). Under the proposed rates Cuomo announced, families will see costs fall to between $1,573 and $2,331 on the so-called Gold Plan, the second-highest-level option under the overhaul. 


Some consumers may also qualify for subsidies, based on their incomes, which could lower costs even more. 


Not every state will see similar benefits. A recent report noted that some healthy people may end up paying more. The Wall Street Journal found that a fit person in Virginia may end up paying far more than now. Chronically ill people might be the biggest beneficiaries across much of the country, especially if they're currently unable to find an insurer willing to cover them. Obamacare requires plans to cover all Americans, regardless of their health.


For New York, the lower rates might benefit not only individuals but small businesses. 


As one commenter wrote to The New York Times: "I pay almost $1,500 per month for my individual Oxford HMO policy. Imagine what additional stimulus I can be for the economy if I have several hundred extra dollars per month."


Still, with only 17,000 people currently shelling out New York's sky-high rates, the benefit will have a limited reach.


Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi


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33Comments
Jul 17, 2013 2:58PM
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Both Democrats and Republicans in congress seem to love their government provided health care so why not model a plan based on that?
Jul 17, 2013 2:49PM
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The healthy will pay more in health care taxes so that the unhealthy pay less.

So are we transitioning from a redistribution of wealth to a redistribution of health? 
Jul 17, 2013 2:12PM
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What do you know, my healthcare costs go up so someone else's can go down.  All in the name of "fairness".
Jul 17, 2013 2:56PM
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Aimee managed to find the 17,000 people in the USA that pay for insurance now whose rates will go down under ObamaCare. Good investigative work Aimee. People that comment regularly on your stories are right. You're an idiot.
Jul 17, 2013 2:34PM
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we all know this plan is gonna benefit some people. about 30 million is their number. theirs, not mine. these are the 30 million poor. poor not helpless, although we all know some people are truly helpless. for 30 million people this will be wonderful, they won't have to pay.  i'll let the rest of you chumps who have to pay for it figure out why you will be paying more and if it's worth it for you. and if you opt out it's a 95$ fine the first year and increases every year till year three. add more to that fine if you have a family. so the fine only gets you a non visit from the gestapo irs agent. you won't even get a thankyou note. not sure if the fine is tax deductible.
Jul 17, 2013 2:25PM
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so what about next year and the year after that and the third, fourth and fifth years? does mr. cuomo have a crystal ball to predict those years? how many of you people who have been around the block a few times and maybe a few times more than these governmet hacks, think this trend will continue? who here is paying less on their car insurance than they were three, four, five or more years ago? the short term is meaningless mr. cuomo. as meaningless as your short term time horizon/vision. but hey, you know and i know your electorate is stupid, right mr. cuomo?
Jul 17, 2013 3:53PM
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You can bet your life that the "group" that will benefit the most from Obamacare are blacks and other gov't-dependent minorities. Just more money paid out to them that others will have to offset by paying more, as with everything else the gov't gives them.

It was planned long before he won the Presidency.

Jul 17, 2013 3:41PM
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The cost and distribution of the American Society's healthcare is a zero sum game after you slice it and redistribute it. The doctors and hospitals will wind up with the same amount of money. All of this Obama-Care, redistribution of earnings healthcare change is about who is going to pay. The democrats, free loaders and shysters want you and I, the working, tax paying people to pay for their healthcare cost. It really is that simple people.
Jul 17, 2013 5:47PM
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Nice that the Governor makes a prediction like this that won't be fully tested until after his campaign for reelection is over.

Then he'll blame Bush!

Jul 17, 2013 5:12PM
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It is past the time for putting our politicians on social security and stopping the kings care they receive now.Only then will we the people have an equal footing with THE MIGHTY RIGHT giving washington a taste of their own medicine (pun intended)
Jul 17, 2013 3:31PM
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What is the take-away of this article? Is it that healthy and young people will get gouged and pay more for government mandated health insurance and these excess funds not needed for the cost of their healthcare are going to provide a reduction in cost for the chronically ill and old? Or is it that we should all embrace Obama-Care because our healthcare will be cheap or free? I don't buy that. I have already been lied to by the President. "If you like the healthcare plan that you have now, you can keep it and will not have to change your healthcare insurance."
Jul 17, 2013 6:07PM
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Cherry pick enough and you can make anything sound good. 
Jul 17, 2013 2:54PM
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they can sell it all they want. and lately they are failing in salesmanship. here's why it not selling. it's not selling because even they don't want to buy it. and why don't they want to buy it? because it's garbage. that's all you need to know about it. you know, garbage as in it stinks.
Jul 18, 2013 1:29AM
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free healthcare for millions. 47 million on snap. umpteen milllion on welfare. a parasite that kills it's host is suicidal. when it blames others for that demise, it's also delusional.
Jul 18, 2013 8:05AM
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When California announced their ACA plans would save residents a lot of money it made big news.  However a few days later after the big announcement died down some analysts dug into the numbers and found most individuals would end up paying a lot more.  It turned CA had compared the cost of the ACA individual plans to plans that businesses give their employees...two different things.  The fact remained that individuals would in general pay a lot more even thought the news media told us they would pay a lot less.

 

I wonder what the news will be for these NY numbers in a few weeks after someone has had time to dig into them.  How can people in CA or Ohio end up paying a lot more and yet people in NY pay less.  Something seems fishy to me...

Jul 18, 2013 12:19PM
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I agree, aren't we redistributing our wealth to our government, we pay for their healthcare. It's funny, the republicans especially talk about buying private health care is so great, but they don't pay for theirs, we do!
Jul 18, 2013 2:39PM
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one of the good aspects is that health insurance companies will no longer be able to make outrageous profits... we are paying for large corporate bonuses and lavish offices... this may be nice for them but it comes at the cost of us, those that pay for insurance whether you get it from work or not... won't it be nice IF and I know its an IF but your premiums that your company pays could go down... could result in higher pay raises for you and your coworkers...  it seems that it is people who are fortunate to "have" are very callous towards those that "have not"...   I have done contract work in my industry, mainly since the work is specialized and seasonal, for 20 years and if my ex wife did not  have a job that had benies we would have had to go w/o...   I got remarried to a women with no children and we decided for her to travel with me, so we had no company insurance...  well, we inquired about health coverage and the premiums were outrageous...  unaffordable, especially when in between assignments and having to rely on unemployment... I am not lazy, work 72 hours/week when there is work, made nearly 2 mil in my 30 years of working since graduating from a two year college....  I only wish is, that it would have become a single payer system like Canada, I lived there for two years and it worked just fine, but it was proposed this way by our president since he believed that the only way the repubs would pass it, I that the insurance companies would still have their greedy hands in the pie... and I'm not a democrat although I may vote that way in the next election... I have supported the GOP since an 8th grade debate in '72, when I and a my neighbor and friend were the only ones to support Nixon, we were outnumbered about 30 to 2!!!! I voted for every GOP candidate from Ronnie up to McCain/Palin, was on unexpected travel during the last election... I am just in awe at how callous and inhumane that my fellow republicans can be.... it is sinful and down right non Christian!!!
Jul 17, 2013 3:56PM
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I live in Pa and my premiums went down this year.  When are they going to go up?  Does anyone know?
Jul 17, 2013 4:03PM
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Um other states have also announced the rates and they are lower.  Not to mention the amount that health insurance premiums have been rising has decreased with ACA as well as multiple years where insurance companies had to send checks back because they did not pay out 80% of premiums charges for health care.  So it isnt just NY.
Jul 17, 2013 5:58PM
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Women can no longer be charged higher premiums for health insurance just because they are women, all people will pay less than otherwise for preexisting conditions and must now be covered, and  those younger than 26 can remain on their parents' insurance plans.  Many families will be able to afford insurance that they cannot otherwise afford even working two jobs, or at Walmart and other such places.   

 

Insurance companies must now spend about 80% of the premiums they collect for actual health care  instead of about 73% of each health care dollar currently.  And, with the exchanges in each of the states, more competition among insurers can't be a bad thing for the health consuming public. 

 

It's unfortunate that some publications choose to scare people with their guesses and suppositions about what bad will happen once the new system is in place and the kinks are worked out.  I just hope they are reminded about where they were right and wrong after the new system is actually up and running although that usually doesn't happen, and they would never admit they were wrong.  

 

 

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