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Premiums Rise Under O-Care Double Wages Rate

From the shameless propagandists at Reuters:

First Obamacare open enrollment promises more incentives and costs

By Beth Pinsker | August 21, 2013

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As American workers prepare for the first open enrollment season of the Obamacare era, hints are surfacing about what awaits them – higher deductibles, more incentives for staying well and premium hikes that continue to out-strip wages, albeit by more moderate amounts than in the past.

Reuters just can’t help themselves. They have to protect the lies. We were told Obama-Care was going to drive down premiums, by at least $2,500 per person. In fact, that was its main selling point.

But, instead, Obama-Care is driving premiums up. And by far more than the increases in the past.

For coverage in 2014, the first year in which key parts of the Affordable Care Act’s healthcare reforms take effect, premium increases will be about 5 percent, according to two studies. While a significant feature of the healthcare law is to mandate individual coverage through public insurance exchanges, it also contains requirements on pricing and plan features for employers.

Costs for families with employer coverage will rise 4 percent, to an average $16,351, of which workers will pay $4,565 in premiums, according to the 15th annual Employer Health Benefits Survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust released Tuesday. The increase for single workers was 5 percent, to $5,884, with the worker typically paying $999.

And this ‘study’ is from Kaiser, who have led the push for Obama-Care. (And who have lied their heads off all along the way.)

Consulting firm Towers Watson predicted in its 2013 Health Care Changes Ahead survey, released on Wednesday, that overall healthcare costs will rise 5.2 percent, less than the 5.9 percent increase last year.

This is a shift in momentum from double-digit increases that have been typical over many of the last 15 years – a move that Kaiser’s president and chief operating officer, Drew Altman, said was good news.

And we believe them, too.

But workers do not have much to cheer as the increases are still double the rate of wage increases and four times the rate of inflation, said Paul Fronstin, a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonpartisan research organization.

To the extent that premiums are being held in check, it is because of changing practices by employers, according to the studies. Employers are trimming perks like low patient co-pays for services to avoid triggering the so-called Cadillac tax of the healthcare law, which will start penalizing high-cost plans in 2018

In other words, the only reason premiums aren’t going up more is because people are having to pay more in co-pays and deductibles. Lest we forget, Obama-Care puts caps on those. But those caps have also been delayed for a year so that premiums wouldn’t skyrocket before the midterms.

And so we could get ‘studies’ like this that claim the increases in premiums under Obama-Care aren’t going to be so bad after all. Which is just what we predicted.

But that does not mean that overall healthcare costs are not going up, as out-of-pocket elements including deductibles continue to grow. The average this year for a single worker was $1,135 compared with $1,097 in 2012. At smaller firms, 31 percent of workers face deductibles over $2,000, up 12 percent from 2008.

Furthermore, there is evidence that the less employees earn, the more they have to pay. Firms with lower-wage workers, defined by the study as firms with 35 percent of their workforce earning $23,000 or less, charge their workers higher premiums. The average was $1,363 more per family than firms with higher-paid workers. This coverage also tends to have fewer features, resulting in the lower-paid workers paying more for less, and taking up a higher portion of their income (39 percent of income for low-wage workers versus 29 percent for higher-wage).

Notice how all of these niggling details were buried way down in the article. Where most people will never see them.

For the first time, the Kaiser study asked employers if they were planning on switching their health insurance system to a private health insurance exchange… For 2014, 29 percent of employers with 5,000 or more workers are considering this.

The respondents to Towers Watson were equally enthusiastic, with 37 percent saying private exchanges will be a viable alternative to traditional employer coverage in 2014, and 57 percent think it will be a good option by 2015…

2015, being when the employer mandate and its penalties kick in. But don’t worry. ‘If you like your current health insurance plan, you can keep it.’

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Premiums Rise Under O-Care Double Wages Rate”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Dueling Headlines

    UPS cuts spouses from Company health insurance plan –or– Obamacare’s Armed Enforcement Cops

  2. bousquem25 says:

    Premiums are going to be going up alot more than 5%, not that it will be reported as such. Some cooking the books and looking at the right data sets will fix that issue for the white house and the MSM. Failing that they’ll just revert to their old tactics of lying through their teeth and accusing anyone who disagrees with them and/or points out their failure in logic as racist/bigots/homophobes or as personally attacking Obama, and/or hating the poor/women/(insert new protected class de jour).

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