If there is one thing we know is certain in 2016, it is that Obamacare costs will soar. In at least 16 states, premiums are projected to increase by more than 20%. Investors.com,
“For many, the real sticker shock will be soaring deductibles that mean they’ll get few benefits until they’ve racked up huge bills. Low-end bronze plans have deductibles hitting $6,850 in 2016. Now insurers are hiking silver-plan deductibles as high as $6,500 as a way to keep a lid on premiums. The downside isn’t just more out-of-pocket costs for patients; it also will have a ripple effect of reducing taxpayer subsidies for cheaper plans.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation looked into 2016 premiums in major cities and found that the cost of the second-cheapest silver plan would rise just 4.4%. The relatively low increase is skewed by the fact that the premiums in Seattle are set to drop by 10.8%. Of course, that’s not the whole story. Investors.com,
“The deductible for Seattle’s second-cheapest plan will soar 175%, from $2,000 this year to $5,500 in 2016. Meanwhile, the out-of-pocket maximum will jump 30%, from $5,000 to $6,500… As for Seattle’s cheapest silver plan — also from Ambetter — it will have a $6,500 deductible.”
The high deductibles hit middle-class consumers the hardest. That’s because they don’t qualify for tax credits. High deductibles also create an unhealthy incentive to skip a visit to the doctor in order to keep out-of-pocket costs low.
President Obama’s signature healthcare law really is turning into the (UN)Affordable Care Act.