As I showed in my previous article, European countries have shown that the ability to control costs – much less lower them – is not possible. However, in a recent speech in Maryland, Obama challenged Americans to go to “the website” to see how much money they could save under Obamacare. He said that once you do and find out how much you save, you’re going to sign up “even if you didn’t vote for me.”
The website in question is www.healthcare.gov, and I did go to see how much money I could “save” under Obamacare.
There are four different types of plans offered on the exchanges – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The website tells you that each plan must “cover the same core set of benefits called essential health benefits.” The obvious implication is that after that depends on how much money you are willing to pay for your healthcare.
Obama said that Obamacare was going to save you money. But Healthcare.gov states that on a Bronze plan, you’ll “pay a lower premium, but you’ll pay a higher share of costs when you get care.” To further elaborate, Healthcare.gov clearly states that “Bronze and Silver plans will require you to pay more of the costs.” Based on the descriptions provided on the website, you will be required to pay 10% (Platinum), 20% (Gold), 30% (Silver), and 40% (Bronze) of healthcare costs out of your own pocket.
Obama also said that Obamacare would provide subsidies to those families to help make healthcare more affordable. According to Healthcare.gov, Obamacare lowers the amount you have to pay for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments only if you qualify based on your income and family size. Healthcare.gov then clarifies this by saying that providers must lower the amount you pay out of pocket for essential health benefits. (If you have a catastrophic illness, accident, or other issue, your costs will not be affected.)
It gets worse!
From the website, the only way to get a subsidy for your out of pocket costs is if you choose a silver plan only. Here is the language on the website – “If you qualify for out-of-pocket savings, you must choose a Silver plan to get the savings.”
Translation – Poor people with children are still going to get nothing when it comes to their healthcare since they would not be able to afford the costs of a silver plan.
So, if you do not have the money to pay for a Gold or Platinum plan, you are going to be paying more for your healthcare. This has to be a mistake, right?
Well, Healthcare.gov does not provide the information on their website to give you an idea of how much these plans are going to costs. The site directs you to the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator to get a rough estimate of how much it is going to cost you. Take a moment and think about that one. The government is going to run Obamacare, but they cannot provide you with an estimate of what it will cost you.
So, once you enter the website, you are asked a series of generic demographic questions – type of insurance you are looking for, age, gender, state, whether or not you are already insured, health condition, tobacco use for each individual, and other additional information.
Then you get a preliminary response as to your potential cost/eligibility for a Silver plan.
The total cost of healthcare for my family of four non-tobacco users for a Silver plan is $9,950 per year for premiums only! It then tells me that I might be able to get a subsidy of $2,649, which would reduce the amount I would be required to pay in premiums down to $7,301 per year. (Note: One thing you will notice is that it tells you that you will pay a minimum of 9.5% of your total income for healthcare, or 73% of the total costs regardless. The subsidy – if you qualify – will cover the remaining 27%.)
So, if you break down the subsidized total, I will pay approximately $616 a month for healthcare. If I had to pay the unsubsidized amount for healthcare, I would pay approximately $825 a month to cover my family. Then I would have to pay the deductible, which ranges anywhere from $5,000 – $6,000. Last, but certainly not least, you would then pay 30% of the total costs on the Silver plan of anything you actually received care for.
So the formula is premiums + deductible + percentage of the total costs for each time you actually receive care for.
Under my employer-provided insurance plan, I pay approximately $2500 a year in premiums, which equates to $208 a month. That is $408 dollars a month less than Obamacare for a total of $4,896 a year in savings. If I don’t get the subsidy (which would happen since I make more than the income cut-off for a family of four), I would save $617 a month for a total of $7,404 a year in savings.
Even though my deductible is higher, my savings on the premiums, since I do not have Obamacare, would pay most of the $8500 deductible. So, that would leave me with $1,096 to actually pay since Obama thinks we all have this kind of money just lying around anyway. No real savings there since I would not pay a $5,000 – $6,000 deductible on top of astronomical premiums.
I would then pay 20% out of pocket costs as opposed to 30%. No math needed.
I have a Gold plan now. If I had to switch to Obamacare, I would pay a whole lot MORE for a Silver plan.
What about you?