HOW THE ACA SEEMS TO AFFECT CONSUMERS DISPROPORTIONATELY
Consumers basically find themselves in one of four categories, and the financial outcome is widely diverse.
Medicaid Eligible – If your income were low enough, you qualified for Medicaid, and were able to obtain healthcare at no cost. The premium mostly required to be paid by state government with some assistance from the federal government.
ACA Subsidy Eligible - If your income range allowed you or your family to receive a subsidy for your healthcare, it was most likely a relief and allowed you to provide much needed health insurance for you and / or your family.
Employer Sponsored Coverage - If you were fortunate enough to have an employer offer health insurance, not only were you lucky enough to only feel an average of 10% increase over the last 4 years, instead of 60%, but your employer most likely also shared in part of your monthly premium.
No Assistance - However, if were considered middle class and your income was over the threshold for a subsidy, you were self-employed or your employer was unable to offer a group health insurance plan, you were one of many taking the brunt of the overhaul to our health care system.
The ACA imposed regulations requiring all health plans to provide minimum essential benefits, meaning they must now all cover x, y and z, even if you only really wanted x. While this was amazing in concept, there would be a price to pay, literally. Requiring all plans to be robust in coverage and the inability to charge more for pre-existing conditions, financially insurers had little option but to : RAISE PREMIUMS.
INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS
As reported by e health, individual health insurance in the first 4 years of The Affordable Care Act, for all ages and family sizes, for HMO, PPO, and POS plans, premiums increased an average of 60 % from 2013 to 2017. The 4 years preceding the ACA, the same group experienced premium increases of less than 10 % with some decreases.
EMPLOYER SPONSORED HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS
For employers, premiums have remained more stable, following The Affordable Care Act, averaging only a 10% increase in the same 4 year period.
For many, the Affordable Care Act was a much welcomed change to our health care system. However, consumers who must purchase an individual health policy and do not receive financial assistance, seem to be taking the brunt of the 60% average premium increase.