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Six Million Americans Will Pay Less Than $100/Month for Health Insurance

Health & Wellness  (tags: abuse, children, disease, government, health, healthcare, interesting, investigation, medicine, protection, research, safety, study, warning )

- 1669 days ago -
More bad news for House Speaker John Boehner, who thinks that the premium rate shock people are going to experience in the first few weeks of Obamacare enrollment will strengthen his hand in holding the debt ceiling hike hostage for a delay in Obamcare.

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JL A (281)
Monday September 23, 2013, 7:39 pm
Six million Americans will pay less than $100/month for health insurance

by Joan McCarter

Medical insurance claim form with money
attribution: Dreamstime
More bad news for House Speaker John Boehner, who thinks that the premium rate shock people are going to experience in the first few weeks of Obamacare enrollment will strengthen his hand in holding the debt ceiling hike hostage for a delay in Obamcare. Here's his problem: For more than six million people there won't be any rate shock, according to a new report that the Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday, obtained by USA Today.

WASHINGTON — About 6.4 million Americans eligible to buy insurance through the new health exchanges will pay $100 or less a month in premiums because of tax subsidies, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report to be released Tuesday and obtained by USA TODAY.

The report by the HHS office for planning and evaluation said the lower premiums would primarily apply to insurance customers who buy what are called "silver" plans on the exchanges that open Oct. 1. [...]

Although not all of the states nor the federal exchange have announced their rates yet, researchers determined they could estimate payments without that information. As an example, the Affordable Care Act states that someone making 150% of the federal poverty level, or $17,235 a year, would pay 4% of their income—or $57—for the second-lowest-cost plan. So, that person's subsidy would be the difference between the $57 and the cost of the silver plan in that state.

"Consequently, it is not necessary to know the actual second-lowest-cost silver premium to determine how many people will pay $100 or less per person per month for a silver plan," the report states.

Note that the researches didn't use the cheapest, least generous plan offered on the exchanges—the Bronze plan—but the second-cheapest. Silver plans will cover 70 percent of medical expenses, with patients paying the other 30 percent, with deductibles expected to be about $2,000, and must include services in 10 categories of essential health benefits defined by the law. It's important to remember when considering deductible costs how much of annual care—cancer screenings, annual exams, vaccinations, immunizations, wellness checks—will not require a copay.

In addition to the 6.4 million who will be able to get insurance for less than $100 on the exchanges, about 12.4 will be included in expanded Medicaid in the states that have opted in to the program. Those people will pay nominal premiums or nothing at all.

All of which makes the Boehner's strategy, to wait until the debt ceiling fight to take on Obamacare, even more ridiculous. See, Boehner thinks that they'll have more leverage after all that rate shock people will experience in the first few weeks of Obamcare enrollments. Where there's no rate shock, there's no outrage. Where there's no outrage, there's no justification for delaying Obamacare.

Kit B (276)
Monday September 23, 2013, 7:54 pm

Interesting but still just not enough. Thanks for sharing this, J L. Yes, I realize that it's the best we have but, we should have better. Think about this, 70% of 100,000 still leaves the patient 32,000 in debt for medical bills if one includes the deductible. If I were in any one of dozens of western countries, my only cost would be getting to the hospital and back home. If we were smart, we would not make young people pay for medical school. While Cruz wants to do away with Obama care, I want it go much farther.

JL A (281)
Monday September 23, 2013, 8:47 pm
I agree that Universal Care would be better for almost all of us and end up costing less Kit; it may be that we needed this intermediate step given how rocky the economy has been to not transform the health insurance industry too fast with major job switches needed by significant numbers at a high level of unemployment.You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Sheila D (194)
Monday September 23, 2013, 10:31 pm
The new healthcare is a starting place towards a better system than the badly broken one we have now. If the GOPTP hadn't spent all this time trying to get it overturned more changes could have been added, refining it. I really wish their voting base would look and see the truth instead of blindly following their parade.

Past Member (0)
Monday September 23, 2013, 10:37 pm
The Affordable Care Act is a first step towards what the vast majority of Americans want and need: universal, single-payer health care. #MedicareForAll

JL A (281)
Monday September 23, 2013, 10:42 pm
You cannot currently send a star to GGma Sheila because you have done so within the last day.

Judy C (97)
Monday September 23, 2013, 11:32 pm
I agree with the need for a universal, single-payer health care system. I listened to a lot of facts and discussion on C-Span today. The ACA seems like a massive, unwieldy Frankenstein monster of patchwork elements. Many parts of it may be an improvement. However, so many people, especially the GOP, have been bitching and whining so loudly that little real discussion has been heard. Washington has to pander to the insurance companies, and this deal will keep them busy.

I'm hoping that this implementation will be a step toward a realization that we need to simplify the system and strip it down to single payer as the sensible way to reign in health care cost and create an efficient system. I'm hoping that will become more apparent as time goes on.

Sherri G (128)
Monday September 23, 2013, 11:44 pm
We need single payer or Medicare for all. Obama care is the first step by preventing discrimination against preexisting conditions. We can do much much better but the American People have to get rid of existing obstructionist politicians. We have to stop the dumbing down of America. TY JL Noted

Suzan F (137)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 1:19 am
So...what happens if one does not have $100 a month, due to losing their job, or a spousal death, or fixed income?

Terry V (30)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 2:56 am
thank you

Kip Mapes (28)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 3:31 am
Run the whole system tru the wringer a few more times.Don't just throw it all out with the wash.Thank you Mr President for bringing it up.Fix it, wish the rep would show up instead of 'just wanting to end Obamacare.'We have the most expensive health care in the world here in the U.S.
, we can do better! Obamacare Is the first step...INsurance companies Need competion.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 4:05 am
How can people work without health?

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 4:09 am
The subsidies were always the problem, the question is what happens when 6 million becomes a much larger number?

Jonathan Harper (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 4:25 am

. (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 7:10 am
Great article, JL. Thanks for sharing.

JL A (281)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 7:32 am
Suzan--the situation you describe would usually have them qualify for Medicaid or other free (e.g. for a child) coverage.
You are welcome Sherri, Terry and Laura.
You cannot currently send a star to Sherri or Laura because you have done so within the last day.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 9:19 am
Really Kit, explain my medical expenses in the UK. Not only do I pay a hefty tax, I also pay more than £20,000 a year in medical expenses?

JL A (281)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 9:27 am
John--do you have any so-called optional expenses (e.g., private hospital room)? Could you help us all learn how your expenses add to that much?

Sheryl G (363)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 10:03 am
Most of those I speak to in the UK do not have such high medical costs not sure why you do John. Not saying you don't but you are the first one to claim such. Believe me you won't like it any better if you loose your system that you have and go to what we have.

Anyways, this Affordable Health Care was a step in the door I hope, but it had too much of the stamp of the work from the Health Insurers. After all it's a Republican plan drafted with the help of the private Health Care Industry. It's a bone, that I hope most will begin to see needs improvement, to move towards Universal Health Care.

This is a complex medical situation over here, most don't understand their plans, most get shocked when they do get sick and try to use whatever health care plan they have as they get stuck holding the bag for many of their health needs or denial of treatment and that is for those with health insurance. One hospital will do a gall bladder operation for one price and another hospital will charge another price. This goes on for every type of treatment. Getting something as simple as a bandaid can cost $10 then fees added on to apply the bandaid to the body. Ridiculous.

Affordable Health Care is still at the mercy of these high charges and doesn't do enough to hold the cost of the medical charges down whereas if the whole Country was the one paying for this, all gall bladder operations, be they in LA or given in NYC, would be the same price. A bandaid could be kept at a $1 for the material itself and the application to the skin. One card for everyone, simple billing, simple to understand policies for those in need of the medical attention.

JL A (281)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 10:35 am
You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion because you have done so within the last day.

Tamara Hayes (185)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 11:09 am
As per usual, we have another conundrum to deal with. I agree, Obamacare is a step in the right direction, but that is all it is. A step. But, it will help a lot of people out and that is good. We need to go much further with our coverage until we are a single payer universal system. Only then will we truly be competitive with other countries. Thanks Judi :)

Gene Jacobson (290)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 12:06 pm
"n addition to the 6.4 million who will be able to get insurance for less than $100 on the exchanges, about 12.4 will be included in expanded Medicaid in the states that have opted in to the program. Those people will pay nominal premiums or nothing at all."

I mentioned this elsewhere too, there are already a number of articles out there pointing out that what has happened so far, which is nothing more than preparation, has already begun to drive down health care costs in this country. That is the real long term answer, bargain for costs as 313 million strong, not per employer as we do now. This is just the beginning, I'm with Kit, universal single payer coverage is the way to go and you can prove that with one google search, and a viewing of Michael Moore's Sicko, which did not find anything in the UK like what John says he is experiencing. Michael even interviewed physicians who could be making a LOT more money under other systems who preferred single payer. There was no mention anywhere of anyone have anything like 20,000 pounds in medical costs per year. I'd be interested too, to learn what those were for as nothing I've read about any country with single payer has anyone paying anything like that for even the most expensive of procedures and lengthiest of hospital stays. This is just the beginning, like Tamara says a step, we'll get to single payer eventually, we are just slow learners, or rather we have a lot of slow learners in Congress with vested interests in keeping health care costs high. But they are rapidly becoming a minority and when they are, we'll have the real thing. Sooner rather than later I hope.


Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 1:58 pm
That's true Dandelion. I am an American so I know the system, I have also held residential assignments in the UK and Australia and have been covered in these systems, and have worked in Europe so that my NHS covered me for experience in The Netherlands and France. In the UK you have to deal with the postcode lottery, so while it's been deemed my medicine has been deemed of questionable effectiveness and high cost, someone can be receiving it. My wife hasn't had much luck in her medication has not been covered either. On the other hand, if I ever need a transplant I'll be covered, if I survive the wait.

Kit B (276)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 4:22 pm

Here is a problem that should be of concern. I know a young woman her daughter has Cystic Fibrosis, so the daughter does have Medicaid. The mother found insurance for herself will cost $115.00 a month, not much but when you have a sick child, are a high school drop out but with a GED and work only at cleaning homes, that hundred dollars is needed for basics like rent and food. She earns just over $1,000 a month and is not eligible for food stamps or SNAP. For young people that are struggling to get by, the roll of the dice to opt out of coverage is gamble many are willing or just forced to chose.

In my mind those who can least afford insurance are those who need coverage, but I understand that food and rent, gasoline and utility bills must come first. Insurance doesn't do much good if your living on the street.
I do fear that once this huge system is in place, it will be another 50 years before we finally get full universal coverage. Just some of my thoughts and concerns.


Kit B (276)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 4:26 pm

On the brighter side, as each state is open to the exchanges people are finding their own rates greatly reduced, that holds true for northern or southern states. Once people learn what they getting, find a monetary savings, they like Obama care. Tough beans, Teddy Cruz.

JL A (281)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 4:37 pm
Next month she should be subsidized for a lower monthly amount Kit with the ACA--that is $12,000 per year income you provided--and it could even be free to her with 100% subsidy.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 5:03 pm
"6.4 million Americans........" This article is very deceitful! It fails to mention that many of those 6.4 million are children. If a family of 5 is barely surviving on minimum wage or little more, how will they pay that 'less than $500. per month, or even if they get a family rate of even $300. or so?!
Obamacare is a windfall for the wealthy insurance companies!

Kit B (276)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 5:06 pm

I hope so, J L I really hope so, she is by no means the only person facing this choice.

Robert O - the article is not deceitful but offers some information and there is more within the comments here.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 7:32 pm
Thank you for the good news. I heard about this today. Thank you for sharing.

JL A (281)
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 9:21 pm
I know--and if we were a humane nation Kit she never would have been facing such a choice. Tee links in the related article and comments you posted a couple days ago explains the subsidies in detail where the exchange pays the insurance company on behalf of the insured.

You are welcome Bryna.
You cannot currently send a star to Kit or Bryna because you have done so within the last day.

Mitchell D (104)
Thursday September 26, 2013, 10:45 am
Brian M.and GGma Sheila both make good points.
I just hope that we are not being naive in expecting that this is a step towards a still better system.
My wife, who has worked in medical billing, for years, is pessimistic that even the current plan will live up to anywhere near its hype.
But, Sheila, you must remember this (no, I'm not going into a song and dance routine), the GOP has long been known to be owned by the Insurance industry...though they are now sharing that ownership with the NRA, Big Pharma and Monsanto.
It is ALL about feeding the Plutocrats!
It's all about what Robert Reich and Michael Parenti, "Democracy for the Few," have put out there.!
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