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Thursday, October 24, 2013

How Much Did Health Insurance Cost Before Obamacare?

I've been stuck on this fact. Individuals and families who did not have health insurance coverage prior to Obamacare had every opportunity to research available plans online, compare coverage and purchase coverage. No government websites were ever needed. But now that they have the new pretty government sites, what is the cost difference between pre-Obamacare rates and today?

It’s damn hard for an individual like me to do something like this – especially since the Obamacare exchangesrequire you create an account and log in before seeing any available plans and rates – so the good folks at Heritageput together an issue brief on Oct. 16.

Aside from the issues associated with actually purchasing health care, once an individual gets a quote for health insurance on an exchange, is the premium higher or lower than before?

Isn't that the real question people should be asking? Why isn’t the main stream media asking this question? Certainly we’ve heard White House spokespersons mention anecdotes of individuals paying less in premiums than they did before, but they never provide details about the coverage, deductibles or if they were over-paying before when they did not have to. Back to Heritage, who ran the before and after numbers as best they could. I looked for some left-wing think tank paper that refutes Heritage’s information, but they are silent. My emphasis is in bold.

Individuals in most states will end up spending more on the exchanges. It is true that in some states, the experience could be the opposite. This is because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection, as is the case of New York. Many states, however, double or nearly triple premiums for young adults. Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, and Vermont see some of the largest increases in premiums.


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