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  • Health Insurance through Obamacare More Expensive than People Think

    Posted by Shannon Early on October 29, 2013

    Many people are learning how much they are going to have to pay for an Obamacare health insurance plan through the exchanges and a large number aren’t happy with the rates. Middle-class consumers in California are seeing huge rate increases as the Affordable Care Act changes what health plans are considered acceptable insurance.

    The rate increases are due mostly to the fact that insurance companies are now forced to cover everyone who applies, including sicker and older people who tend to have higher medical bills. These people have not been able to get insurance for many years, but premiums have been raised to help offset the expected increase in medical bills for these consumers.

    Even though media has mostly been focused on the computer glitches that have been plaguing the health insurance websites, but experts believe the high premium rates for individual plans are going to be the real reason why public support for Obamacare is going to wane. As with anything, there will be some people who make out well through Obamacare, but there are going to be a lot of people who end up paying more.

    For instance, a California resident has been paying $98 per month for an individual plan. However, under the Affordable Care Act, she can no longer keep this policy because it does not meet the standards of a qualified health plan. It does not cover the essential health benefits defined by the law. Therefore, she has to shop for a new plan and the cheapest she has found is $238 per month. She does not qualify for federal subsidies because she and her husband make too much money.

    On the whole, though, millions of Americans will benefit from the new law, since they can get coverage no matter what their medical history looks like. In addition, low-income families will be able to enroll in low- or no-cost coverage by either taking advantage of federal subsidies or qualifying for Medicaid under the expansion rules.

    Unfortunately, middle-income consumers are not expected to fare as well. On average, they will pay 30 percent more for minimum insurance coverage in California because of several quirks in the law. In fact, some people might just decide to pay the penalty in 2014 because the fine is fairly inexpensive. This penalty will go up in the next couple of years, so it remains to be seen if this will be a trend or not.

    16 million Californians will be unaffected by the new law, as they get their health insurance through their employers. Individuals who have plans that were purchased before March, 2010 will also be immune from the ACA mandates. Approximately half of individual policyholders are believed to have those “grandfathered” plans.

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