Gigantic Dose of Sticker Shock
Adam Weldzius, of Carpentersville, works as a nurse practitioner. If the 33-year-old single father wants the same level of health insurance coverage next year as what he has now with the same insurer and the same network of doctors and hospitals, his monthly premium of $233 will more than double.
If the 33-year-old single father wants the same level of coverage next year as what he has now with the same insurer and the same network of doctors and hospitals, his monthly premium of $233 will more than double. If he wants to keep his monthly payments in check, the Carpentersville resident is looking at an annual deductible for himself and his 7-year-old daughter of $12,700, a more than threefold increase from $3,500 today.
"I believe everybody should be able to have health insurance, but at the same time, I'm being penalized. And for what?" said Weldzius, who is not offered insurance through his employer. "For someone who's always had insurance, who's always taken care of myself, now I have to change my plan?"
Many Illinoisans buying health coverage on their own next year will face a similar dilemma spurred by the healthcare overhaul: pay higher monthly insurance premiums or run the risk of having to shell out thousands more in deductibles for healthcare if they get sick.
To promote the Oct. 1 debut of the exchanges, the online marketplaces where consumers can shop and buy insurance, Obama administration and Illinois officials touted the lower-than-expected monthly premiums that would make insurance more affordable for millions of Americans. But a Tribune analysis shows that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage.
Those deductibles, which represent the out-of-pocket money consumers must spend on healthcare before most insurance benefits kick in, are higher than what many consumers expected or may be able to stomach, benefit experts said.
By comparison, people who buy health insurance through their employer have an average individual deductible of just more than $1,100, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Although millions of Americans will be eligible for federal assistance to help offset some of those costs, millions will not, underscoring one of the trade-offs wrought under the law's goal to ensure most people have access to health insurance.
"It's been major sticker shock for most of my clients and prospects," said Rich Fahn, president of the Northbrook-based insurance broker Excell Benefit Group. "I'm telling (clients) that everything they know historically about health plans has changed. They either have to pay more out-of-pocket or more premiums or both. It's an overwhelming concern."
Plans with the least expensive monthly premiums -- highlighted by state and federal officials as proof the new law will keep costs low for consumers -- have deductibles as high as $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families, the highest levels allowed under the law.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 10/13/2013
Editor's Note: Affordable healthcare for those who pay nothing into the system. And, we ask, what party do those who pay nothing into the system vote for? Maybe that's the reason the Framers intended for only land owners to vote, so that the system couldn't be corrupted not by those in need, but by the opportunistic, glad-handing politicians who hunt them for votes...
The BasicsProject.org informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...
The New Media Journal and BasicsProject.org are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on tax deductible donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a tax deductible donation today.