Study: Deductibles Skyrocketing Under Obamacare

A medical doctor examines a patient with a stethoscope at a CCI Health and Wellness Services health center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, U.S., on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. After the failure of Republicans first attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and President Donald Trumps subsequent threats to let …
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deductibles continue to rise under Obamacare, according to a study released this week.

Average health insurance deductibles and the number of Americans with high-deductible health insurance plans continue to rise under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

High-deductible plans require Americans to pay more out of pocket for their medical expenses, including medical expenses and hospital procedures.

In 2006, 11.4 percent of private sector employees had a high-deductible plan compared to 2016. Now, 46.5 percent of Americans have a high-deductible plan. Roughly half of the workers with a high-deductible plan get an employer contribution to a health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA).

Small businesses tend to offer high deductibles more often than larger corporations. At the smallest companies, about two-thirds of workers did not have the option of a plan without a high deductible and did not receive an employer contribution from an HSA or HRA.

Premiums have continued to rise under Obamacare, as well.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released a report in July sh0wing that average Obamacare monthly premiums increased by 27 percent in 2018, which was even higher than 2017’s 21 percent rate hike. In May 2017, a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report found that average health insurance premiums doubled since 2013.

Meanwhile, roughly 30 million Americans continue to go without health insurance. In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that Obamacare exchange enrollment would increase by nine million by 2016. In reality, only 400,000 Americans signed up on the Obamacare exchange, which is 96 percent lower than the CBO’s estimate of Obamacare exchange growth.

To combat the increasing costs of health care under Obamacare, the Donald Trump administration released a rule in August that expanded short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans. Short-term plans may cost approximately a third of the cost of an Obamacare plan.

The average monthly premium for a short-term plan in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $124 per month, while an unsubsidized Obamacare plan costs $393 per month. Trump also released a rule that expanded Association Health Plans (AHPs), which would allow businesses and associations to band together and offer Americans more affordable health insurance options compared to Obamacare.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) lauded the expansion of AHPs and short-term health insurance in October as the “biggest free-market health care reform in a generation.”


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