Health Care

How’d Obamacare do in the news this week?

Communications • May 30, 2014

Obamacare in the news4

Premiums for individual Ohioans who buy health coverage through the federally run insurance exchange will increase 13 percent in 2015 compared to this year, the Ohio Department of Insurance said this afternoon.

Premiums would average $374.42 per month, compared to $332.58 per month for the same coverage last year, the department said in a prepared statement.

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The S.C. Department of Insurance director predicts the same four companies that sold health insurance plans to South Carolina residents on the federal exchange during the Affordable Care Act’s first enrollment window will offer those plans again later this year.

There may be one key difference though – the price of those plans will go up, Director Ray Farmer speculated.

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As of yet, there is no sign that Americans think the new healthcare law is having a net positive effect on their healthcare situations. The majority say the law has not affected them, while those who do report it having an effect are more likely to say it has hurt their healthcare situation rather than helped it. Americans also remain more negative than positive when asked about their views of the potential impact of the law on their family’s healthcare situation in the long run.

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Obamacare in the news

Now that enrollment in Obamacare has ended for the year, some of the quirks–maybe they should be called potholes–embedded in the complicated and heavily lobbied law are going to start to become visible.

Obamacare took a complex new law with complicated formulas involving big dollars moving in and out of peoples’ wallets and grafted it onto a health care system that was already impossible for most people to understand.

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And so they dropped their new plan; they just stopped paying the premium.

They signed on to be in the midwife’s care. Nick signed up for a nonprofit, Christian-oriented cost-sharing plan. The Robinsons will pay cash upfront and request reimbursement later.

“We’re so happy with where we are now,” says Nick, “but this is not OK. And I’m extremely confident that that’s not what the architects of this plan had in mind.”

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More than half of companies (56%) increased employees’ share of health care premiums or co-payments for doctors’ visits in 2013, and 59% of employers say they intend to do the same in 2014.

Employees are worried about covering their medical costs: 49% have less than $1,000 to pay for unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses; 53% would borrow from their 401(k)s or credit cards to cover unexpected medical costs; 66% say they wouldn’t be able to adjust to the large financial costs associated with a serious injury or illness.

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Despite the ongoing scandal, demand for health services at the VA probably won’t shrink next year. It will probably grow — and Obamacare is largely to thank.

Nearly ten percent of veterans — about 1.3 million men and women who have served our country — are uninsured. Those veterans need to fulfill Obamacare’s mandate to carry insurance or else pay a penalty, just like everyone else.

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