White House: Ohioans will save 21 percent on premiums because of the 22 price hike, or something

posted at 10:01 am on September 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Help me out here, guys. The White House retweeted this tweet the other day from one of their communications people, crowing about the expected savings in health insurance premiums that Ohioans are going to start witnessing courtesy of ObamaCare (h/t, the Weekly Standard caught this first):

…Er, as much as I would just hate to blow holes in that lovely- and comfortable-sounding claim, let’s go ahead and take a look at that. The article to which the tweet links says that “Ohioans who buy their own health insurance should see an average out-of-pocket savings on premiums of 21 percent because of taxpayer subsidies,” emphasis mine, thanks to the Affordable Care Act — except that it sounds like those 21 percent savings are not based on current premium prices, but rather on expected premium increases.

Without the health care law, Ohioans who bought individual policies would pay $3,973, on average, in premiums in 2016, the study shows. But the subsidies, or tax credits, will bring the individuals’ costs down to $3,131. …

Taylor’s figure did not account for buyer subsidies, nor for the wide variety of policies that are now available, some with deductibles of $10,000 and even $25,000, that will no longer be sold. Obamacare will require a change in coverage for many, with more exams and medical conditions covered, and will eliminate some of the high-deductible, bare-bones policies now sold and used in Taylor’s comparison. …

Without factoring in subsidy offsets and the policies that people are likely to buy, premiums for individual policies in Ohio will average $5,312 in 2016, according to figures from Rand. That’s 34 percent higher than the average for individual premiums without Obamacare, Rand’s figures show. …

Based on that calculation, the average premium for individual policies in Ohio would rise by $900, or 22.65 percent. …

The price hike would be offset for many Ohioans by the taxpayer subsidy.

So, the main messages I’m getting from this happily-trumpeted article amount to, 1) that all Ohioans will in fact not be able to keep their plans even if they like them, and that ObamaCare is eliminating the very same sorts of catastrophe insurance that young and healthy people would probably like very much to buy; and 2) that Ohio average individual premiums are actually going to increase, but that some people will be eligible for subsidies that will offset the price hikes.

Wow. This is what is passing for a positive ObamaCare development at the White House these days.

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