Laszewski on the Numbers

The vast majority of those who are entitled to subsidies have not claimed them:

It looks to me the Obama administration will claim at least 6 million enrollments by the end of March. But that will mean 75% of subsidy eligible people will not have bought a plan…

But adjusting that number for those not paying (15% to 20%), the real net enrollment number will be closer to 5 million…

There is a reason why millions of people are not signing up:

Stressed Over MoneyUnder ObamaCare, a family of four making $59,000 a year is expected to pay almost $5,000 a year net of the federal premium subsidy (more than 10% of their take-home income) for the Silver Plan that has an average deductible of almost $2,600 a year, or pay a fine of about $400. How many families like this have an extra $5,000 in their family budget to buy a policy with a deductible this high? Would this be a hardship for them?

A family of four making $71,000 a year would be expected to pay $6,700 a year net of the subsidy for a plan with the same average $2,600 deductible, or pay a fine of about $600. Would this be a hardship for them? (More)

Comments (21)

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  1. Lucas F says:

    The decision is obvious; I rather pay the fine than to pay that outrageous amount of money for a high deductible policy. I rather take my chances and walk away uninsured. The yearly premium can easily cover for a normal procedure and I would plenty of money remaining. Also, in the event that I need a significant procedure, I could simply enroll in one (now that Obamacare allows me to do so at the hospital, when I am going in to get the procedure).

  2. George S says:

    Every time I read one of these posts it makes me feel that the Affordable portion of the law is an insult. Making healthcare affordable for whom? Because the vast majority of Americans cannot pay what we are being expected to pay under Obamacare.

    • Andrew says:

      We all as Americans should be insulted. Rich bureaucrats think they can solve these issues, but they have no idea where to start. It is a noble idea to help people, but your not helping the majority of the population.

      • Arthur A says:

        In fact, you are making the majority of the population worse off. Politicians in Washington are so abstracted from the real world that they cannot provide solutions for the normal Americans. They are legislating on extremes (extremely rich or extremely poor), and that is harmful for the country.

        • Andrew says:

          We need a new voting system. Our representatives cannot represent us any longer. For any issues, there should be a secure, online voting system. When ACA came to be voted on, we read a brief explanation of what it is, and let the American people decide.

          • Ramon K says:

            I disagree with direct democracy (allowing people to vote directly on issues), because many have no clue what they are voting for, especially healthcare where people don’t know what are all the implications involved in the system. (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/03/19/1320488111.full.pdf+html?sid=94e53079-a76e-42fd-963f-630744150908). Also, who writes the brief description? Information will be biased and there winner of the election would be the same thing that the politicians wanted to be approved on the first place. The problem with the current system is the high costs of being a politicians, getting votes is complicated that is why many relay on political machines to be elected, and once they are, they grasp to their seat for as long as they can. Until we remove the machines from the political system, we will have politicians that legislate on behalf of their party, not their constituents.

            • Walter Q. says:

              I think Andrew is just a guy disillusioned with government. Direct democracy wouldn’t function as a working system. Our democracy is the best in the world, there are just many perverse incentives in our politicians.

  3. Matthew says:

    “But that will mean 75% of subsidy eligible people will not have bought a plan…”

    I know whenever I read that a subsidy will be in place, I feel there will be a catch. Especially with the issues that Obamacare has had, and the uncertainty associated, it is just a trap waiting to happen.

  4. Perry says:

    Not only can they not afford insurance, they most definitely cannot afford health care.
    I am also curious as to how many of the 5 million are those that were insured in the first place and got booted from their original plan.

  5. Thomas says:

    “Under ObamaCare, a family of four making $59,000 a year is expected to pay almost $5,000 a year net of the federal premium subsidy for the Silver Plan…”

    Taking the economy into account and how more and more families are living paycheck to paycheck, I think very few families would be able to swing this.

    • James M. says:

      The argument could be made as to why they don’t value their health to be 10% of their income, but the fact is they didn’t have to last year. I likely had an affordable option. The majority had options, this law was in place to help the outliers, not the majority.

  6. Arthur A says:

    I don’t trust the statistics published by the government. It is in their best interest to lie about these numbers, at least in the months preceding the elections. Depending on your source, you will receive several different answers. This partiality is causing the destruction of the healthcare system and it is impeding the system from being fixed.

  7. Buddy says:

    Our healthcare system is such a mess. Too bad we can’t knock it down and start over. Things would be so much simpler without middle men and insurance companies. I wish for the days where I can just pay a doctor for a check up and go on my merry way.

    • Bill B. says:

      The problem there is that healthcare is expensive. People can’t afford that, so they resort to insurance to help them in case they get into a bind.

      • Buddy says:

        But if there was no insurance, doctors and hospitals cannot charge as high prices because no one would afford it. Prices would fall until it is affordable enough. Pay for your medical care like you pay for any other good or service. Keep prices low, doctors will keep costs low. Its economics.

    • Oswalt D says:

      That is one of the problems with Obamacare. That it knocked down the previous system, ignoring those things that worked and replaced it with a more expensive alternative, which creates more hassles to the people. Real steps are going to be made the day we stop thinking that to make something work we must destroy the predecessor; build upon the programs to gain efficiency (focusing only in the broken pieces, not the part that works).

  8. Bob Hertz says:

    It all comes back to the fact that the families in the individual market have no employer to subsidize them.

    There are thousands and thousands of families who pay between $250 and $500
    a month for their share of a more generous employer policy. This goes totally uncommented on and generally unlamented.

    Individual insurance has always had a more spotty take-up rate than employer coverage. The subsidies in the ACA are not enough to change this totally.

  9. Bart I. says:

    I think this links to the wrong Laszewski post.

    But thanks for turning me on to Laszewski. His February 3 post on GOP proposals is the best I’ve seen in a long time.