3/14/13 Health Insurance – Reality

For some time many people have been signaling the warning bell that health insurance under the ACA [Obamacare] will be much more expensive than current costs but no one could estimate those increased costs. Today Tom Murphy writing for the associated press addressed more clearly what the cost results will be in 2014 and beyond.

The nation’s big health insurances say they expect some bills to double. But to whom and where?

On the other hand Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna calls the price hikes “premium rate shock.” However on further examination Bertolini points out that “the biggest price hikes are expected to hit a group that represents a relatively small slice of the insured population of roughly 14 million people who buy their own health insurance. “

It seems confusing; in one breath the insurance industry says the rise in health care cost for the nation will be twenty to one hundred percent. On the other hand where and who will be affected is uncertain.

Tom Murphy has identified some key issues that I want to share to get a handle on how much and where will health insurance costs increase;

• Age and gender could cause some premiums to rise as much as 50%
• According to AHIP a new tax on insurance premiums could raise prices as much as 2.3% in 2014 and more in subsequent years.
• More required coverage by the ACA or requiring the insurance policy to pay a greater share of the premiums would raise the cost of premiums.
• HHS says the health care costs for young people and families will come down.

According to Tom Murphy “the impact of some cost hikes will be wide-ranging. The new premium tax, for instance, will affect individual insurance, some employer-sponsored coverage and Medicare Advantage policies.”

My conclusion is that even under the best of circumstances our insurance premiums, if we can even afford them will go up substantially for the middle class and older citizens of this country. There is no verdict yet on the quality of the health care services all of us will receive.

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