|Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.|
Health-Insurance Costs Set for a Jolt
For the Healthy, Rates Could Soar Under New Law; Sicker Consumers to See Relief
Healthy consumers could see insurance rates double or even triple when they look for individual coverage under the federal health law later this year, while the premiums paid by sicker people are set to become more affordable, according to a
The exchanges, the centerpiece of President
Several big provisions in the law taking effect in six months affect rates for the estimated 20% of Americans who don't have coverage through an employer,
A review of rates proposed by carriers in eight states shows the likely boundaries for the least-expensive and most costly plans on the exchanges. The lower boundary is particularly important because the government wants to attract healthy people to the exchanges, and they may choose to pay a penalty and take the risk of going without coverage if they believe they can't get an acceptable deal.
For a 40-year-old single nonsmoker--in the middle of the age range eligible for exchanges--a "bronze" plan covering about 60% of medical costs will be available for about
Though less generous than "silver" and "gold" plans on the exchanges, a bronze plan would still include fuller benefits than many policies available on the individual market today.
The challenge for the law is that healthy 40-year-olds can typically get coverage for less today, especially if they are willing to accept fewer benefits or take on more costs themselves. Supporters of the law say tighter regulation on insurance practices gives consumers more protection and is worth the extra cost, but they have to persuade people who don't have an immediate need for health care of that. If only sick people buy into the new insurance pools, prices could shoot up.
"If a person in 2013 has a choice of buying a Chevrolet or a Cadillac health plan, and in 2014, they can only buy a Cadillac...are they going to be upset? I think the answer is, yes," he said. ...
Read the entire article online HERE http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324251504578577760224985382.html.
Read this original document at: http://energycommerce.house.gov/icymi/news-wall-street-journal-health-insurance-costs-set-jolt
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