Monday, June 17, 2013

More bad press for the ACA in California

In an earlier post I noted that the ACA's tax increases were double their original estimate.  Now despite some in the media calling California's implementation a model for the rest of the country, it's clear that single women, as well as single men, will be hit very hard by the increase in premiums caused by the "Affordable" Care Act.
In 2014, Obamacare’s blizzard of regulations and mandates will transform the U.S. market for health insurance, among people who buy coverage for themselves. Of increasing concern is the phenomenon of “rate shock,” whereby many Americans face substantial increases in their health insurance premiums. Much of the debate has focused on young men, the “bros” who will bear the brunt of Obamacare’s rate hikes. But in California, women and men will see equally high jumps in the underlying cost of individual-market premiums.
This is because the Golden State already bars insurers from charging different rates on the basis of gender in the individual market. According to the National Women’s Law Center, 10 other states also do so: Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington. A twelfth state, Vermont, limits but does not prohibit gender rating.

In other words, the rate shock that I described in my three previous posts on California applies equally to men and women. If you compare the cheapest plan on to the cheapest Bronze plan on the new Covered California insurance exchange, premiums for healthy 25-year-olds will increase by 147 percent—a median of $183 on the exchange vs. $74 today—and premiums for healthy 40-year-olds will increase by 149 percent—a median of $234 on the exchange vs. $94 today.
If that's a model for the rest of the country, we're all fucked.

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