High Deductible Obamacare Policies Are Useless For Many

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When the Democrats rammed Obamacare through they said they had to do it to help all of those Americans who didn’t have health insurance. Premiums for everyone have since skyrocketed. The only reason some people can afford coverage is that taxpayers subsidize their premiums. But for many of those people, their policies are useless because the deductibles are so high. The only surprise in this story is that it comes from the New York Times.

But for many consumers, the sticker shock is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick: sky-high deductibles that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage.

“The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor,” said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain. “We have insurance, but can’t afford to use it.”

n many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through HealthCare.gov, the federal online marketplace, have a deductible of $3,000 or more, a New York Times review has found. Those deductibles are causing concern among Democrats — and some Republican detractors of the health law, who once pushed high-deductible health plans in the belief that consumers would be more cost-conscious if they had more of a financial stake or skin in the game.

“We could not afford the deductible,” said Kevin Fanning, 59, who lives in North Texas, near Wichita Falls. “Basically I was paying for insurance I could not afford to use.”

He dropped his policy. (Read More)

It’s just as bad for people who purchase their health insurance on their own without any help from taxpayers or employers. I speak from experience. In 2011 my husband and I purchased a family plan through his business that cost about $850 per month. There was no deductible and there was a $25 co-payment for primary care and a $40 co-payment for a specialist. But then Obamacare kicked in, and even though we have never gone through the exchanges our premiums skyrocketed. By this year it went up to $1250 per month and that’s for a policy with a deductible of $2500 per family member. So I increased my hours and took on more duties at work so to be eligible for insurance through my job.

High deductible policies used to come with low premiums which is why they were affordable. Not anymore. But of course we all knew this, and we can expect to hear more Democrats calling for universal health care to “fix” the problems they created and/or made worse.