**Posted by Phineas
I linked this in my last post, but it really deserves top-level billing of its own as a picture-perfect example of how Obamacare harms, not helps, the middle classes.
Redondo Beach resident Steve Duschene has bought his own insurance on the individual market for several years now and has had to deal with the problems of rising costs, often by cutting back on coverage he’d otherwise like to keep. So, he decided to try buying a policy on Covered California, our state exchange.
What he found was, to say the least, upsetting:
I have visited the state exchange, CoveredCA.com, and what I found is not encouraging. In fact, it’s frightening, with few policy choices, higher monthly premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Relieved to see Anthem, which has provided my family’s health insurance policies for nearly 10 years, I was stunned by the $900 monthly premium, not to mention higher out-of pocket costs. Like our current plan, Anthem’s Obamacare policy would cover three doctor visits per person per year, but with a 35 percent increase in the monthly premium.
The sticker shock did not end at the premium. Our doctor office co-payment would double from $30 under our current policy to $60 under the Obamacare policy, and in the event of a trip to an emergency room, our co-pay would triple from $100 to $300. Our current policy includes no co-pay for an urgent care visit; Obamacare would hit us for a co-pay of $120.
Duschene then notes the dilemma of the individual policy buyer:
Under Obamacare, however, there appears to be no alternative to significantly higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. If we want insurance, we will have no choice but to shop through the exchange.
But he’s also careful to note the alternative, which is to not carry insurance, but buy it only at need, knowing that one cannot be refused. He correctly calls this, as I have in other posts on other facets of Obamacare, a “perverse incentive.” And his closing reveals that this isn’t a bug, but a feature:
Back in January, the Anthem representative could not predict Obamacare prices, but now we know. And the more we learn about the Affordable Care Act, the less affordable it becomes. It’s open season on individual health insurance consumers.
You can bet there are a lot more stories like Steve Duschene’s. It’s in the plan.
via Stuart Stevens
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)