Obamacare is making headlines these days, and all eyes are on the big price increases for premiums in 2017. With the impending election and open enrollment in full swing, it's no wonder this is news. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has spanned five years but the results are just coming in. There are many views on how effective the ACA is, but one thing is certain: If you have an individual health plan; your family, health and bank account will be affected this coming year. Take the time to educate yourself.
Why this matters now
Big changes are coming. Obamacare rates are going up an average of 22% more in 2017. The rise in prices is due to several reasons:
- Some low cost programs intended to keep rates down will end in 2016
- Many plans were incorrectly priced at the start of Obamacare and now rates have to go up or insurers will leave the marketplace. Insurance companies claim they need these high rates to cover costs of expensive healthcare. To learn more about insurers backing out of certain markets, read our recent blogs on the subject here and here.
Most increases will primarily affect individuals on their own insurance plan. Therefore, if you are insured through an employer or government program like Medicare, you probably won't notice the increase. Published rate increases currently apply to people shopping in the healthcare marketplace, but keep an eye out for increases on other individual plans as well.
The Pitfalls of Obamacare
As good as its intentions are, Obamacare doesn’t come without its faults. Here’s why:
- Average Americans are not very educated in the areas that Obamacare requires knowledge of: healthcare and insurance. This makes the ACA very complicated for most to understand.
- The tax levied if you don’t purchase insurance is also confusing.
- The purpose of Obamacare was to reduce the deficit, but it is not yet clear if this is being achieved.
- Health insurance companies could not maintain many plans because they did not comply with Obamacare requirements. As a result, many people who were happy with their insurance plan were forced to find something new.
- Short term, instead of seeing a reduction in healthcare spending, we are seeing an increase. This is good and bad, as people receive preventative healthcare to stay healthy, but during initial years, this costs more.
- The Obamacare tax levied on healthcare providers and insurance companies is blamed for the rise of premiums.
What you can do
If your plan is facing an increase this coming year, you are probably going to have to switch plans if you want to save money. Most Obamacare plans only cover a small group of doctors and hospitals so, most likely, you will not only switch your coverage plan but also your healthcare provider.
This is where Take Command Health can help! Please visit our site for an individualized health plan that includes your current doctors and saves you money at the end of the day. Take Command Health offers search options that include anything from your preferred doctors to your prescriptions to your personal care needs. Take a few minutes today to explore your options.
I wrote this blog because I care about ideas (big and little) that can help fix our healthcare system. I used to work on projects for Kaiser Permanente and the Parkland Health & Hospital System so I've seen the system inside and out. It's so important that consumers keep up with industry shifts and changing health insurance regulations. I'm also Take Command Health's Content Editor and a busy mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!