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Obamacare Website Calculator Doesn't Show Real Cost of Many Plans

Posted By Chris Jacobs On October 23, 2013 @ 11:08 am In Featured,Front Page,Obamacare | Comments Disabled

CBS News reports this morning [1] on another problem with the flawed Obamacare exchanges: In many cases, the new online calculator available at healthcare.gov underestimates premium costs for health insurance:

Industry analysts, such as Jonathan Wu, point to how the website lumps people only into two broad categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.” Wu said it’s “incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they’re paying.”

Prices for everyone in the 49-or-under group are based on what a 27-year-old would pay. In the 50-or-older group, prices are based on what a 50-year-old would pay.

CBS News ran the numbers for a 48-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ineligible for subsidies. According to HealthCare.gov, she would pay $231 a month, but the actual plan on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s website costs $360, more than 50 percent higher….

The numbers for older Americans are even more striking. A 62-year-old in Charlotte looking for the same basic plan would get a price estimate on the government website of $394. The actual price is $634.

We noted nearly two weeks ago [2] that one major bottleneck in the federal exchange occurs because the Administration does not want to reveal how much Obamacare is raising premiums. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) forced individuals to go through a time-consuming login process, because they did not want individuals to see premium costs without also seeing the taxpayer-funded subsidies offsetting those premiums for some. As we wrote:

One obvious reason why the Administration wants to highlight the cost of health insurance after the application of premium subsidies is because the law’s new mandates and requirements [3] dramatically raise the cost of insurance [4] before those subsidies are applied.

In response to myriad complaints about the website, HHS introduced the online calculator function to produce “estimated” premiums—supposedly providing more information to interested shoppers unable to complete the online login process. But, as the CBS News report notes, even that “calculator” can vastly understate the costs of Obamacare coverage for many Americans.

Even when the Obama Administration says it’s being transparent, it’s not being transparent. But ultimately, nothing can hide the fact that premiums are going up [5] due to Obamacare.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/10/23/obamacare-website-calculator-doesnt-show-real-cost-of-many-plans/

URLs in this post:

[1] reports this morning: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57608843/healthcare.gov-feature-often-lists-wrong-prices-for-coverage/

[2] noted nearly two weeks ago: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/10/09/the-broken-promise-underlying-obamacares-exchange-debacle/

[3] mandates and requirements: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/04/obamacare-s-essential-benefits-regulation-creates-disparities-among-states

[4] raise the cost of insurance: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/09/projecting-premiums-in-obamacare-s-health-care-exchanges

[5] premiums are going up: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/10/enrollment-in-obamacare-exchanges-how-will-your-health-insurance-fare?utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=headline2131021

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