Among the ACA’s first acts was to abolish almost five million so-called junk plans in the individual market — plans that didn’t meet its standards. The administration backed off for a year after a massive outcry. But it was too late for most insurance companies to restore them. In addition, many large employers such as Target, Home Depot and Walmart have dumped coverage for tens of thousands of part-time workers.
These insurance refugees constitute at least half the people buying coverage from the Obamacare exchanges. But if they don’t qualify for subsidies, they face higher out-of-pocket costs for plans that cover things they don’t need and leave out things they do.
For example, the Los Angeles Times found last year that middle-income consumers in California face an estimated 30 percent rate increase in their insurance bills “due to several factors tied to the health care law.” Such factors include limitless lifetime coverage and many benefits such as hair prosthetics for cancer patients that many people don’t care about. But what patients do care about — their choice of doctors and hospitals — they can’t get because that would further bump up premiums. (The usually excitable Ann Coulter wrote a sobering account of her difficulty in finding her choice of providers under even the most expensive Obamacare plans here.)