Shocka: People still think penalties are more affordable than Affordable Care Act coverage

posted at 10:01 am on January 4, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s see. ObamaCare’s mandates on insurers have driven individual-market premiums into the stratosphere, and pushed deductibles even higher. For all but wellness checks, the average consumer would have to spend $12,000 out of pocket before benefits kick in and cover some health-care costs. On the other hand, going without insurance will cost $695 or 2.5% of one’s income, which would make the latter choice a better deal for everyone earning under $480,000.

The New York Times reports that, shockingly, Americans by and large can do the math:

Administration officials said last month that about 2.5 million new customers had bought insurance through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange serving 38 states, since open enrollment began on Nov. 1. The number of new enrollees is 29 percent higher than last year at this time, suggesting that the threat of a larger penalty may be motivating more people to get covered.

But plenty of healthy holdouts remain, and their resistance helps explain why insurers are worried about the financial viability of the exchanges over time. They say they sorely need more healthy customers to balance out the costs of covering the sicker, older people who have flocked to exchange plans.

People, like Mr. Murphy, who earn too much to qualify for federal subsidies that defray the cost of coverage may be most likely to opt out. A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than seven million people who are eligible for exchange coverage would pay less in penalties than for the least expensive insurance available to them. More than half would not qualify for subsidies, the analysis found.

This was easily predictable, and therefore also widely predicted. Even before ObamaCare, the average cost of a comprehensive medical plan in Minnesota was around $3200 a year, with several hundred dollars in deductibles. (It’s more expensive on both ends now, but let’s focus on the status quo ante in this instance.) For younger, healthier consumers, those plans made no sense at all. They would expect to spend no more than $1000 a year for health care — a wellness check and perhaps a routine urgent-care visit or two during the year. Why would they spend $3200 to cover a few hundred dollars of expected expenses in a year? They were much better off buying catastrophic coverage at a much lower cost to indemnify against unexpected hospitalization and dealing with everything else on a retail basis.

At least that arrangement dealt with specific risk in an honest fashion. When insurers now say “they sorely need more healthy customers to balance out the costs of covering the sicker, older people,” what they mean is that they need younger and healthier consumers to exploit in order to subsidize the others. ObamaCare forces insurers into gouging low-risk consumers to keep premiums lower for high-risk consumers, rather than charge on a rational risk-assessment basis. ObamaCare precludes catastrophic insurance for that very reason — to force people into expensive comprehensive care when they don’t need it and won’t use it. In fact, the whole point is to charge those younger and healthier consumers for services they will never utilize.

If anyone but the federal government ran this scam, the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department would prosecute them into oblivion.

Small wonder, then, that many Americans don’t particularly want to participate in having their pockets picked. Most of them are better off paying the fine and dealing with clinic visits on a retail basis — and many of them just don’t have any other choice. In fact, “choice” is the one and only thing that ObamaCare has proven adept at curing.


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Of some note:

Near 50% of Americans vote for commie Democrats.

Thus only 50% of Americans know how to think.

Facts count.

Lies kill.

Seek truth or we die.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 4, 2016 at 10:03 AM

The ones who do not vote are the real criminals as it is they who enable this evil two party money cult to ruin U S All.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 4, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Perhaps we should consider repealing Obamacare.

Nahh… it’s too hard.

Doomberg on January 4, 2016 at 10:07 AM

I thought that guy said Americans would be too stupid to notice what they were getting?

LancerDL on January 4, 2016 at 10:07 AM

…not to worry…Paul Ryan is all over this…

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 4, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Perhaps we should consider repealing Obamacare.

Nahh… it’s too hard.

Doomberg on January 4, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Remind me to send a “thank-you” to the RNC. They’ve freed up my first Tuesday in November…

oldleprechaun on January 4, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Have no fear.

Democrats will blame everything on the GOP and begin a campaign for communist health care … which is what they’ve been after all along.

darwin on January 4, 2016 at 10:10 AM

Let’s see. ObamaCare’s mandates on insurers have driven individual-market premiums into the stratosphere, and pushed deductibles even higher. For all but wellness checks, the average consumer would have to spend $12,000 out of pocket before benefits kick in and cover some health-care costs. On the other hand, going without insurance will cost $695 or 2.5% of one’s income, which would make the latter choice a better deal for everyone earning under $480,000.

Actually, it’s a wash for most of those making at least $480,000 as well as the penalty tax is capped at the average cost of the bronze plan.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2016 at 10:11 AM

Still waiting for my $2,500 savings in premiums here.

Johnnyreb on January 4, 2016 at 10:12 AM

In fact, the whole point is to charge those younger and healthier consumers for services they will never utilize.

pretty difficult to use OCare when you’re falsely accused of rape and can’t do a damned thing about it…thanks Marco…

Ace is all over this

Pelosi Schmelosi on January 4, 2016 at 10:14 AM

Shocka: Republican party still funding Obamacare.

Magicjava on January 4, 2016 at 10:14 AM

The mandate penalty comes out of your tax refund. If you structure your withholding or quarterly tax payments such that you are due no refund, then there is no effective penalty at all.

I have done this for years, with the reasoning being that I don’t want to loan to the govt, interest free. Now there is an extra incentive for strategic structuring.

GulfCoastBamaFan on January 4, 2016 at 10:16 AM

The solution is to add jail time to the penalties.

This is Obama’s legacy. We must not allow a bunch of racists to opt out and tarnish the works of the First Black President.

malclave on January 4, 2016 at 10:18 AM

I wish someone would ask the idiot president on what he thinks of the very high deductibles? He goes on and on about how everybody has coverage but he never mentions the high deductibles. I bet if someone did ask him he was have a hissy fit like he did when Major Garret asked him about the Americans imprisoned in Iran. I loved seeing him shaken up. Oh how I hate this fuicker

garydt on January 4, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Still waiting for my $2,500 savings in premiums here.

Johnnyreb on January 4, 2016 at 10:12 AM

Speak for yourself. My premiums declined 3,000%!

Serious Drivel on January 4, 2016 at 10:22 AM

My favorite thing about the media coverage of O’care is the way they take the government’s numbers as gospel:

“Administration officials said last month that about 2.5 million new customers had bought insurance through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange serving 38 states, since open enrollment began on Nov. 1.”

No reporter ever asks:
–Can those numbers be independently confirmed?
–Are they audited like in the private sector? (We know there’s no gov’t “oversight” like in the private sector)
–What percent of last year’s enrollees paid all their premiums for the entire year?
–What percent of enrollees qualify for subsidies…compared to O’Care’s original projections?

Anyway, you get my drift. The Administration simply throws these numbers out there and reporters report them without question. Unlike the private sector there are no auditors, no government agencies, no internal board of directors….NOTHING. There is NO oversight. As far as we know, they are simply making up the numbers according to political necessity. Like they do everything else.

jeanneb on January 4, 2016 at 10:24 AM

what they mean is that they need younger and healthier consumers to exploit in order to subsidize the others. ObamaCare forces insurers into gouging low-risk consumers to keep premiums lower for high-risk consumers, rather than charge on a rational risk-assessment basis.

It’s more insidious than that. All the mandated stuff that one is forced to pay for is what really costs the customer. Even if a 70-year-old man doesn’t need OBGYN services, he’s paying for it so that some poor person on Obamacare subsidies gets covered “for free.” Obamacare would collapse if consumers were able to dictate a level of coverage that didn’t include massive wealth redistribution to fund Obamacare for the non-producers in society.

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Let’s see. ObamaCare’s mandates on insurers have driven individual-market premiums into the stratosphere, and pushed deductibles even higher. For all but wellness checks, the average consumer would have to spend $12,000 out of pocket before benefits kick in and cover some health-care costs.

$1,200/ month in premiums; $11,600 deductible for a total of $25,000/year out of pocket before our ins. kicks in. We are self employed and weighing the benefit of choosing the penalty. For all their talk about helping the little guy, Dems are our worst enemy.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 10:27 AM

Taking early retirement out of Obama’s America > All.

MNHawk on January 4, 2016 at 10:30 AM

We (idiots like me who work and pay for health insurance without subsidies) are paying for all of those people who never had coverage and now are getting medical treatment for pre-existing conditions, at subsidized prices.

dolfan on January 4, 2016 at 10:33 AM

$1,200/ month in premiums; $11,600 deductible for a total of $25,000/year out of pocket before our ins. kicks in. We are self employed and weighing the benefit of choosing the penalty. For all their talk about helping the little guy, Dems are our worst enemy.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 10:27 AM

First off, Dems are not out there helping the little guy that is productive. You are expected to pay for the parasites who mooch off of society as well as your own family. I’ve often thought we should get a picture of the parasitic family we support with our forced health insurance choices.

Secondly, you’re only against Obamacare because it has Obama’s name on it. You must be a racist or something. /

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2016 at 10:42 AM

GulfCoastBamaFan on January 4, 2016 at 10:16 AM

You better have a real good tax lawyer on retainer if you want to try that. Despite the letter of the law, the PlaceboCare penalty tax is added in on the same line as the other miscellaneous taxes, and I have no doubt that the IRS will claim that you paid your PlaceboCare penalty tax before any other taxes you owe.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Insurers now say “they sorely need more healthy customers to balance out the costs of covering the sicker, older people,” what they mean is that they need younger and healthier consumers to exploit in order to subsidize the others.

No, what they really mean is they need the producers to subsidize the consumers. The ACA was never about healthcare as much as it was about wealth transference. Only an idiot would think putting 30 million uninsured’s on the payroll was gonna work out for everybody else.

Cleombrotus on January 4, 2016 at 10:51 AM

In truth, the penalty can be $0 if one simply arranges one finances such that taxes are owed at year’s end. The only way the IRS can collect the penalty is by withholding tax refunds. For a reasonably smart person, the “penalty” is actually an incentive not to purchase health insurance but to stop giving the Feds an interest-free loan every year in the form of overpayment of taxes.

jbspry on January 4, 2016 at 10:56 AM

A reminder… in Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion upholding Obamacare, his reasoning turned on a couple of points:

1. The “penalties” for non-participation in Obamacare are a tax for all intents and purposes.

2. If the tax were so high as to be coercive, the Obamacare coverage mandate would be unconstitutional. The tax is relatively low compared to premiums and other costs, so it is not coercive and the mandate is therefore constitutional.

No, I didn’t like the decision, but it is what it is. However, it may mean that government cannot just ramp up the penalties until everyone signs up. It also just about guarantees a death-spiral for Obamacare, and I suspect that Roberts knew this… he is a smart guy.

Early-on, I ran numbers for my situation, and quickly figured out that I could avoid Obamacare without penalty, since the cheapest premiums were more than 8% of my income. Further, I’d have to earn a heck of a lot more to have the premium smaller than the non-participation tax.

The bottom line… people are clever, and quickly figure out that they can buy an awful lot of routine healthcare for the difference in cost between the penalty-tax and the premiums, copays, and deductibles.

DaveK on January 4, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Those who can’t afford the premium often can’t afford the fine either (and may not owe federal tax) so young people in this category just let sleeping dogs lie, and I doubt the IRS will do anything about it.

Let’s face it, this is a bust.

virgo on January 4, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Copied from headlines above:

The GOPe gets weaker with every cycle. If we get President Cruz, he’ll lead the party on a path that will decidedly not include single payer.

The only way that single payer comes to pass is if Hillary becomes president. The GOPe will buckle and pass whatever with every Democratic vote in the House and a handful of Republican votes.

Makes this election all the more important, don’t you say?

TheJamesMadison on January 4, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Which party will the GOPe be in by then though? If Trump or Cruz wins, I expect wholesale GOPe defections to the Dems.

If Hillary wins, well, same story actually, because it will depend on how she wins, if it’s via a GOPe 3rd party Huntsman/Jeb spoiler, Thad Cochran sabotage or Angle/McDonnell take their ball and go home abandonment then there will be a split.

Rogue on January 4, 2016 at 11:20 AM

But plenty of healthy holdouts remain,

“Holdouts”. TRANSLATION:
People with math skills and common sense.

You Shall Not Hold Out Against Holy Mother Government!!
Except yes; yes, they will. And one way or another: So will the rest of us.

orangemtl on January 4, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Which party will the GOPe be in by then though? If Trump or Cruz wins, I expect wholesale GOPe defections to the Dems.

Really?
As if the establishmentarians can hope to get more out of a defeated minority Democratic party than from their own?

GOPes are amoral, self-interested parasites.
But they can count. They’ll whine, and complain, and then fold.
Like usual.

orangemtl on January 4, 2016 at 11:32 AM

My favorite thing about the media coverage of O’care is the way they take the government’s numbers as gospel:

“Administration officials said last month that about 2.5 million new customers had bought insurance through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange serving 38 states, since open enrollment began on Nov. 1.”

No reporter ever asks:
–Can those numbers be independently confirmed?
–Are they audited like in the private sector? (We know there’s no gov’t “oversight” like in the private sector)
–What percent of last year’s enrollees paid all their premiums for the entire year?
–What percent of enrollees qualify for subsidies…compared to O’Care’s original projections?

Anyway, you get my drift. The Administration simply throws these numbers out there and reporters report them without question. Unlike the private sector there are no auditors, no government agencies, no internal board of directors….NOTHING. There is NO oversight. As far as we know, they are simply making up the numbers according to political necessity. Like they do everything else.

jeanneb on January 4, 2016 at 10:24 AM

To add to your post – how many of these “sign ups” are forced to buy this, because either their original plan was banned by Obamacare, or because the insurance company had to stop issuing plans because of Obamacare mandates?

About half of the health insurance cooperatives started under Obamacare are going bankrupt, or are headed that way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/business/health-care-co-op-closings-narrow-consumers-choices.html?_r=0

How many of those “new sign ups” are a result of the inherent financial stupidities of Obamacare?

SubmarineDoc on January 4, 2016 at 11:34 AM

People still think penalties are more affordable than Affordable Care Act coverage

… because they looked at the numbers that system offers.

Axeman on January 4, 2016 at 11:53 AM

I wonder if there is a business opportunity in this.

Insurance companies have to sell Obamacare-compliant policies so people can be on the right side of the law; but if someone chooses to pay the penalty, can’t insurance companies offer a different type of catastrophic policy which is not in compliance, but which is cheaper than the Obamacare plans? That would allow individuals to be protected in case they had significant health expenses, but would no allow them to get around the expensive Obamacare policies.

HakerA on January 4, 2016 at 12:12 PM

This is what change looks like.

Pest on January 4, 2016 at 12:14 PM

I’ve often thought we should get a picture of the parasitic family we support with our forced health insurance choices.

I always thought it should be the other way around. With each welfare check they get a description of the hard working family that provided it and what they had to give up to pay the taxes to provide it.

Secondly, you’re only against Obamacare because it has Obama’s name on it. You must be a racist or something. /

Happy Nomad on January 4, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Yep, that’s what my liberal friends tell me right after they insist my old, pre ACA plan must have been inferior to my new ACA compliant plan.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 12:37 PM

Turns out Justice Roberts was right. It is a tax masquerading as Health Insurance…

Pest on January 4, 2016 at 12:39 PM

It would be very hard to undo Obamacare. But I work in healthcare technology, so it would provide a lot of work. Thanks Obama!

tlynch001 on January 4, 2016 at 12:40 PM

It would be very hard to undo Obamacare. But I work in healthcare technology, so it would provide a lot of work. Thanks Obama!

tlynch001 on January 4, 2016 at 12:40 PM

I think if the Republicans had the stomach for it they would just have to ditch the mandate, remove the rules requiring specific items be covered and open insurance to cross state sales and tweek the tort laws. Insurance companies would sell policies outside the ACA. With the increased competition and lower malpractice rates, costs and premiums would go down. Fewer and fewer people would buy ACA compliant policies and Obamacare would just die out.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 12:50 PM

You better have a real good tax lawyer on retainer if you want to try that.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Where do you think I got the idea? Of course, she thinks the IRS will pick up on this quickly and change withholding regulations. In which case you opt for zero withholding and pay taxes quarterly, again structuring for a zero refund.

GulfCoastBamaFan on January 4, 2016 at 12:51 PM

DaveK on January 4, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Good comment, and couldn’t help but notice your handle. We used to have a davidk around here.

Hero.

Any relation?

questionmark on January 4, 2016 at 1:08 PM

Two years after the Affordable Care Act began requiring most Americans to have health insurance, 10.5 million who are eligible to buy coverage through the law’s new insurance exchanges were still uninsured this fall, according to the Obama administration.

That number appears to be shrinking: Administration officials said last month that about 2.5 million new customers had bought insurance through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange serving 38 states, since open enrollment began on Nov. 1. The number of new enrollees is 29 percent higher than last year at this time, suggesting that the threat of a larger penalty may be motivating more people to get covered.

So the amount of uninsured continues to dwindle and somehow you think that’s a point against the PPACA? Will the insured rate ever be 100%? Maybe not. Will it be a LOT lower than it was? Already is and still heading down.

Policy win.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Let’s see. ObamaCare’s mandates on insurers have driven individual-market premiums into the stratosphere

No, you guys keep saying that *will* happen but it never *does*.
Premium hikes tomorrow but never premium hikes today.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 2:09 PM

What good is it to be covered by this insane insurance if you can’t use it? Most can’t afford the premiums and the high deductibles. Yes and before our company had near zero deductibles before this system came in. Our company will probably dump obama care and bring back the previous system.

garydt on January 4, 2016 at 2:12 PM

but if someone chooses to pay the penalty, can’t insurance companies offer a different type of catastrophic policy which is not in compliance, but which is cheaper than the Obamacare plans?

HakerA on January 4, 2016 at 12:12 PM

I was thinking along the same lines. Cost is going to drive people away from Obamacare if they have an alternative.

If it isn’t currently prohibited by law, I see it as a potentially solid and profitable business model.

Obama would surely issue an EO to try to stop it, but his DOJ might not be able to defend the EO’s enforcement in a court challenge.

s1im on January 4, 2016 at 2:21 PM

Well, it looks like we scooped the New York Times by about, oh, nine to ten months….

Confirmed: Americans Can Actually Do the Math!

Of course, we were very happy to help make the math a lot easier to do….

ObamaCare 2016: Should You Pay the Premium or the Tax?

ironman on January 4, 2016 at 2:28 PM

Love Mr T opting into the health care insurance fight and demonstrating ignorance in spades.

Enrollment figures always include Medicaid numbers – in fact the last statistics I saw that were somewhat verified, the number of forced medicaid signups is almost 2-1 for people with a new exchange plan.

Based upon reported non-payment rates of exchange plans once enrolled for – you can begin to make an argument that there are actually more uninsured people today than before ACA. I’m not quite sure I would go there unless you want to add medicaid enrollees – for which case you really don’t have insurance, just the facade of it.

What it comes down to is that for $2.5T over a decade (that’s for Trillions!!) you have the same level of uninsured as you did before the ACA.

Now for the troll-less readers, Obamacare is dead. All of DC knows it, all the chief health care executives know it. They know they just have to wait for Obama to move along before a solution shows up. Politically this is a problem, because the politicians know they need to have guarantee issue and and a slew of underwriting unfriendly provisions. The insurers realize this is pure fantasy, but recognize the political difficulties raised.

Should be interesting.

Zomcon JEM on January 4, 2016 at 2:48 PM

but if someone chooses to pay the penalty, can’t insurance companies offer a different type of catastrophic policy which is not in compliance, but which is cheaper than the Obamacare plans?

HakerA on January 4, 2016 at 12:12 PM

They do offer a catastrophic plan. You have to be under 30 to be eligible. It’s basically the same plan as what we are paying 1200 a month for except it’s about a third the cost. All the other parameters are the same/similar.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 2:57 PM

No, you guys keep saying that *will* happen but it never *does*.
Premium hikes tomorrow but never premium hikes today.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 2:09 PM

You may be technically correct but when you add in 5 digit deductibles it’t the same thing as premiums getting hiked.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 2:59 PM

So the amount of uninsured continues to dwindle and somehow you think that’s a point against the PPACA? Will the insured rate ever be 100%? Maybe not. Will it be a LOT lower than it was? Already is and still heading down.

Policy win.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Do some research. The numbers of insured include people who had insurance and lost it due to the ACA, people who only signed up for dental and vision riders and people pushed into Medicaid because they couldn’t afford the new “improved” policies. I suspect you either are on medicaid yourself or have your insurance through the generosity of the tax payers as a teacher or government employee. Out here in the real world it is brutal.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 3:02 PM

So the amount of uninsured continues to dwindle and somehow you think that’s a point against the PPACA? Will the insured rate ever be 100%? Maybe not. Will it be a LOT lower than it was? Already is and still heading down.

Policy win.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 2:05 PM

Oh and, having a card saying you have insurance doesn’t mean having access to actual healthcare if you have can’t afford the deductible.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 3:03 PM

Do some research. The numbers of insured include people who had insurance and lost it due to the ACA, people who only signed up for dental and vision riders and people pushed into Medicaid because they couldn’t afford the new “improved” policies. I suspect you either are on medicaid yourself or have your insurance through the generosity of the tax payers as a teacher or government employee. Out here in the real world it is brutal.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 3:02 PM

You could just look here:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/186047/uninsured-rate-third-quarter.aspx

I’m health insured through my workplace, thanks.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 3:29 PM

Oh and, having a card saying you have insurance doesn’t mean having access to actual healthcare if you have can’t afford the deductible.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 3:03 PM

Sure, so can you demonstrate how many people have insurance through the PPACA that cannot afford their deductibles? Or do you just have anecdotes?

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Where do you think I got the idea? Of course, she thinks the IRS will pick up on this quickly and change withholding regulations. In which case you opt for zero withholding and pay taxes quarterly, again structuring for a zero refund.

GulfCoastBamaFan on January 4, 2016 at 12:51 PM

Allow me to repeat and expand upon the last part of my comment – because the IRS combined the PlaceboCare penalty tax with every other tax paid through the 1040 form family, in spite of the letter of the law, the IRS will deem the PlaceboCare penalty tax to have been paid first and one’s underpayment to apply to the taxes for which they can prosecute for non-payment, even if every penny of the non-PlaceboCare portion was timely paid either through withholding or quarterly estimated payments.

You better have a very good tax lawyer (no, not accountant, lawyer) to beat that.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2016 at 3:53 PM

Will it be a LOT lower than it was? Already is and still heading down.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 2:05 PM

It’s so awesome watching all those people get thrown into Medicaid!

The Schaef on January 4, 2016 at 4:03 PM

I’m health insured through my workplace, thanks.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 3:29 PM

Good for you (and I mean that). Now when you are self employed and have to pay out of pocket for 100% of your insurance premiums then you can lecture me on how wonderful the ACA is for everyone. If we have a major medical problem we will be bankrupted.

deductibles? Or do you just have anecdotes?

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 3:31 PM

So you’re okay with people like me (regardless of how many of us there are) losing health CARE we had before the ACA in order to make sure another group of people who had some health care now actually have a card saying they have insurance? Small business owners who can’t afford to expand can’t afford the $25,00/year the ACA compliant plans cost before they kick in. Do you have $25,000 you don’t mind parting with? Given the national income average I’d say the number of people in that group is sizable enough to matter.

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 4:05 PM

deductibles? Or do you just have anecdotes?

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 3:31 PM

So you’re okay with people like me (regardless of how many of us there are) losing health CARE we had before the ACA in order to make sure another group of people who had some health care now actually have a card saying they have insurance?

hopeful on January 4, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Of course he is! Tens or even hundreds of thousands of people like you are anecdotes. One person who sends a witch doctor email is a representative statistic.

The Schaef on January 4, 2016 at 4:20 PM

For younger, healthier consumers, those plans made no sense at all. They would expect to spend no more than $1000 a year for health care — a wellness check and perhaps a routine urgent-care visit or two during the year. Why would they spend $3200 to cover a few hundred dollars of expected expenses in a year? They were much better off buying catastrophic coverage at a much lower cost to indemnify against unexpected hospitalization and dealing with everything else on a retail basis.

So basically, Obamcare tried to make money off younger and healthier people by charging them much more for insurance to subsidize the older and better-off … and the younger population said, “Gee, thanks, but no thanks.”

Yep. No one saw that coming.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 4, 2016 at 9:21 PM

Let’s see. ObamaCare’s mandates on insurers have driven individual-market premiums into the stratosphere

No, you guys keep saying that *will* happen but it never *does*.
Premium hikes tomorrow but never premium hikes today.

Tlaloc on January 4, 2016 at 2:09 PM

Where have you been? The premium hikes have been happening for years now. The sky-high deductibles have also been an Obamacare feature for years.

It’s not that premium hikes will happen, but that premium hikes have already been happening, and are continuing. But worse than the premium hikes are the hikes in deductibles that make it almost impossible to get any benefit out of the insurance you’re paying for. It’s no wonder that people would rather pay the penalty and pay for the healthcare as needed, since it’s already cheaper than paying the premium and then having to pay for the healthcare anyway because you haven’t yet met the deductible.

For all but wellness checks, the average consumer would have to spend $12,000 out of pocket before benefits kick in and cover some health-care costs. On the other hand, going without insurance will cost $695 or 2.5% of one’s income, which would make the latter choice a better deal for everyone earning under $480,000.

Apparently, Tlaloc is not so good at the math.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 4, 2016 at 9:33 PM

Insurance has always been a case of those who make insurance claims being paid for, in large part, by those who don’t make claims. The difference between market-based coverage and government mandated coverage is that the people who take the policy tailor what they pay for to what they are worried about. They don’t care who else is in the risk pool.

Lard on the coverage and prices rise (extending coverage generally always increases prices it does not go in the opposite direction) with people deciding that the extra coverage, which they may not want or can’t use, is not worth the extra cost, so they drop out.

If cost was no object then covering everything makes sense, but cost does matter so having extensive coverage when that coverage does not make sense to the policy holder causes a weighing of cost versus utility and if the cost is high enough, the trade-off may then make the risk into something acceptable.

Russ808 on January 4, 2016 at 10:41 PM

I guess Tioloc has no deductibles or at very little cost so he doesn’t know what its like being under obama care. Anybody who complains is accused of just having anecdotes. I have already stated that people who love obama care are not under it themselves. They say its a great plan for the peasants.

garydt on January 5, 2016 at 10:27 AM