Your Obamacare Exchange Plan Premiums/ Read and Weep
The Exchange Plan Premiums – read it and (probably) weep.
Since Obamacare came out, I’ve repeatedly expressed the opinion that it just can’t work long term. I need to correct myself – now I’m not sure about the short term either. I just ran some numbers through the Kaiser Family Foundation Exchange Plan premium calculator and my jaw is on the floor. It says on the site that these are average premiums, so they can adjust up or down based on where you live.
I’m a 50 year old, non smoking male. The current premium for my individual HSA plan, with a potential $5,000 max out of pocket per year for claims is just under $167 per month. To reach the same (government subsidized) premium in the Exchange Plan calculator, my income can’t be more than $26,800!
– At $30,000 it jumps to $209
– At $35,000 it’s $277
– At $40,000 it’s $317
– And at $45,000 it’s $356.
There’s no premium subsidy if my income is higher than $45,970, and then I’d be stuck with the full $449 monthly premium, and a much higher potential out of pocket exposure of $6,350. In my part of the country, $449 is higher than what most employer sponsored group insurance plans would charge for someone like me BEFORE the employer contribution. Now keep in mind, these are for the Silver Plan, which has the second lowest benefit. How much more expensive would the “better” plans be? In EVERY scenario above, the Exchange plan’s out of pocket potential is higher than I have with my current coverage.
The Exchange plans are supposed to help everyone, healthy or unhealthy, to get “affordable, adequate coverage” if they don’t have other access to it. No one can blame people with pre existing conditions for jumping all over this opportunity (if they can afford these premiums). But with a “penalty” that’s but a fraction of what premiums will cost them, healthy people nationwide will avoid the coverage mandate and just pay the fine. Then see what the premiums will jump to in just a few years. Run the numbers yourself and see what it could cost you. If you’re in one of the few states where the premiums are already the highest, you might be OK. But I’ll bet that most of you will be as shocked as I was. Weren’t the Exchange plan premiums supposed to be more affordable? $167 / $449 – hmmm.
But for those of you who have individual coverage now, don’t fret, because, “if you like your current plan, you’ll be able to keep it”. Yeah, for now…