Friday, January 2, 2015

OBAMAmess: Plan Deductibles Vary Wildly, Challenging Consumers

Insurance plan deductibles under Obamacare vary so wildly across the country for 2015 that many consumers are left confused and, in some cases, sticker shocked.
The addition of new insurers selling on reduced the amount people in many areas would have to pay out of pocket for care, and consumers in other places saw minimal change. But a lack of competition in some areas leaves those shopping on the federal health care exchange with what could be prohibitively high-deductible plans for the coming year, a USA TODAY analysis found.
More than one in 10 of the counties on the federal exchange saw deductible increases — often limiting consumers' choices to high-deductible plans that stretch to $13,000, the maximum amount allowed by law for a family. handles the insurance sales for the 37 states that didn't set up their own marketplaces for individual insurance. The deadline to get insurance by Jan. 1 has passed, but enrollment continues until Feb. 15 to avoid penalties at tax time in 2016 for not having insurance.
"Everybody is sticker shocked and can't believe the prices; every single one of them," said Texas agent Aaron Shinn, who works in Van Zandt County, where the analysis found some of the highest deductibles in the U.S. "They'll say, 'I've got to pay this much and my deductible is still $6,000?"
Paul Ruggieri is a surgeon who sees a lot of hernia and gall 
bladder patients who put off care until it becomes an
emergency.(Photo: Josh T. Reynolds for USA TODAY)
While high-deductible plans have many fans, some consumer and medical experts worry that the people who are lured by the low premiums are often unprepared for the out-of-pocket costs. That can lead to debt problems, or worse, the postponement of critical medical tests or treatment.
"I don't like them," Fall River, Mass., surgeon and author Paul Ruggieri said of high-deductible plans. "You're just hoping you don't get sick."
Read the rest HERE view the inderactive map on Deductibles Below:


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