Obamacare is Expensive and Difficult or Impossible to Afford

Obamacare is crushing agents and brokers, according to industry sources:

Amid the national debate over raising the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour, Scott Leavitt of Boise says he and his fellow advisors have been enrolling clients in their state’s health insurance exchange for an hourly wage that works out to about $4.50 – and sometimes even less. (Susan Rupe, InsuranceNewsNet)

And that is just the advisors. The same article also reports results from neutral or pro-Obamacare organizations like HealthPocket, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Commonwealth Fund to show how much pain Obamacare is causing patients: Deductibles too high, premiums too expensive, and he whole shebang unaffordable.


Comments (4)

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  1. Bob Hertz says:

    Crushing agents was (secretly) part of the basic design of the ACA. The goal was to slice 6 or 8 or 10 per cent off of plan premiums.

    As for the high deductibles, that issue is a little more complex than presented here. Part of the problem is this:

    Before the ACA, many of those with high deductible plans were affluent persons, who had HSA’s or at least savings accounts, and who deliberately chose lower premiums with the knowledge that in some years they would have out of pocket costs.

    What the ACA has done is to expose a lot of non-affluent persons to high deductible plans, which clearly do not fit them very well. The average incomes of those persons going to the exchanges are very low, from what I have read.

    Finally, some of the Republican alternatives to the ACA do not fix this problem either. In some of these alternatives, the deductibles are even higher.

    • I agree. Health Savings Accounts and related tools have led to reduced costs. However, we need to move beyond just that. Just increasing deductibles but continuing to let prices be formed by insurers, government, and providers, with no patient input, is not nearly as powerful as letting patients participate in price formation.

  2. Bob Hertz says:

    HSA’s are pretty useless to most persons with below average incomes. Even a subsidized health insurance premium pretty much exhausts their disposable income.

    Very very few conservatives in my reading have suggested that the government actually pump some money into personal HSA’s. It might be an impossible task to get right.

    But without something like that, HSA’s will have limited use, even though they are a great idea.

    • Actually, most of us who have recommended tax credits have recommended that the government be neutral as to how much of it goes to premium and how much goes into an HSA or similar account.