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  • Higher Premiums—Both Now and Later

    One of then-Senator Obama’s promises for Obamacare was a $2,500 premium reduction. But as we know, health insurance premiums continue to rise.

    Last week’s release of the annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey of employer-sponsored health coverage again illustrated Obamacare’s failure to reduce health costs. According to the survey, health insurance premiums for a family policy increased by more than $600 this year.

    Worse yet, the details of the survey illustrate how premiums will rise for many workers and firms next year due to the new benefit mandates imposed by Obamacare. Here are just some of the people who will face higher health costs in 2014 due to the law:

    • Nearly one in three (31 percent) covered workers in small firms has a single deductible of $2,000 or more (Exhibit 7.8, p. 109). But Section 1302(c)(2) of the law caps deductibles for small group health plans at $2,000 for a single policy. These workers will face premium increases thanks to Obamacare.
    • Nearly one in eight covered workers (12%) is in a plan with no annual out-of-pocket maximum (Exhibit 7.31, p. 132). But Section 1302(c)(1) of the law prohibits annual limitation on cost-sharing above a government-defined threshold. These workers will face premium increases thanks to Obamacare.

    Of course, those higher health costs presume that Americans will get to keep their health plans at all. And as we previously noted, that definitely won’t be the case—many Americans will lose their plans, either because their insurance company decided to leave the marketplace or because their coverage does not meet “government-approved” requirements.

    On Friday, the President claimed that “[health] costs have actually gone down” thanks in part to Obamacare. On that count, he’s wrong, for multiple reasons. First, as noted above, the Kaiser survey found that premium costs are still growing at more than twice the rate of wages—far from the $2,500 premium reduction candidate Obama promised. Second, many Americans will face higher health costs next year due to Obamacare—a fact many businesses have realized. It’s yet another reason why Congress should act to defund Obamacare now.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

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