Thursday, December 26, 2013

Obamacare Fallout: Deductibles could cause Havoc on the Finances of Many Families

As a key enrollment deadline hits Monday, many people without health insurance have been sizing up policies on the new government health care marketplaces and making what seems like a logical choice: They’re picking the cheapest one. 
Increasingly, specialists in health insurance are becoming concerned that many of these first-time buyers will be in for a surprise when they get medical care next year and discover that, because of high deductibles, they will be on the hook for most of the initial cost.
“I am so deeply clueless about all of this,” said Adrienne
Matzen, who says she’s looking for a health plan based
on the monthly premium because she has limited income.
For most Americans, Monday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance policies that take effect Jan. 1. The prospect of sticker shock after the start of the year is seen as a looming problem for the federal health care system. 
The program has been plagued by trouble since the new marketplaces were launched in the states in October, and some problems are expected to continue despite a series of adjustments and extensions put in place by the Obama administration. 
For those without insurance — about 15 percent of the population— ‘‘it’s important to understand the total cost of ownership of a plan,’’ said Matt Eyles, a vice president of Avalere Health, a market analysis firm. ‘‘You just don’t want to look only at the premium.’’ 
Counselors who have been helping people choose policies say many are focused only on the upfront cost, not what the insurance companies agree to pay.
Hospitals are worried that those who rack up uncovered medical bills next year will not be able to pay them, perpetuating one of the problems the new health care system is supposed to solve. 
The new federal and state health insurance exchanges offer policies ranked as bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The bronze options have the lowest monthly premiums but high deductibles — the amount the policyholder must pay before the insurer picks up any of the cost of medical care. 
On average, a bronze plan’s deductible is more than $4,300, according to an analysis of marketplace plans in 19 states by Avalere Health. A consumer who upgrades to a silver plan could reduce the deductible to about $2,500. A top-of-the-line platinum plan has the lowest average deductible: $167.
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Anonymous said...

Never mind the deductible! the Premium has caused havoc! We can't afford 720 a month, and the deductible will never be met (unless something very serious happens) before we start getting 'free' health care. A doctors visit used to cost about 100 bucks, when we needed to go. Then the meds my husband takes is a few more bucks as he gets generic from walmart. Now, a doctors visit will cost us just 45 dollar co-pay, meds are free, but the blasted premium is 720 a month! By Obama's math, we are about 680 behind each month. Which budget should I take that out of? Food? House payment? Car insurance? Clothing for the kids? Education? Mission funds? And lets not even go there with that high deductible! There will be many years we will never get to that point of maxing it out.

BOSMAN said...


Hundreds of thousands having to fork over their deductibles for some unforeseen family members accident.

These stories will be monopolizing the news once this crap starts...

Anonymous said...

Ellie, your story seems typical from all the stories I've heard! But it's not making the news the way it needs to.

I have not signed up for anything yet because one, I don't want to, and two, even if I wanted to I can't. OR doesn't seem to be working too well yet. ha ha. I'm one of the uninsured that isn't touching Obamacare with a 100 ft pole.

I hope you're right, Bosman, that it's an onslaught of bad news coming.


RomneyMan said...

Give it time, all will be fine.

Anonymous said...

RM, you must be living in a cave to think Obamacare will be fine. Literally no one believes that.


Right Wingnut said...

This is rich. I recall Ellie, who voted for Obama, was at one point in time supportive of ObamaCare, since her family did not have coverage. This is admittedly a while back, but her and the rest of the Hopenchange crowd are the reason why we're in this mess in the first place.

Anonymous said...

RWN, actually you are totally wrong about that. You have a really BAD memory. I did say that we needed some type of reform in our HC systems. NOT THIS TYPE. But I digress. It's because I'm a white mormon married to a hispanic mormon with black mormon kids, right?