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Enrique Gonzalez, 22, (L-R), Janet Regalado, 21, and their nine-month-old daughter Kayleen Gonzalez pose for a photo after signing up for health insurance at an enrolment event in Commerce, California March 31, 2014. U.S. President Barack Obama's embattle
Many Americans who got their insurance through the Obamacare exchanges are paying less for their health insurance every month than they are paying for their cable subscription. In fact, premiums for people who qualify for a government subsidy have been cuts by an average of 76 percent, according to analysis from the government.
The Americans who qualify for tax credits through the new federal insurance exchange are paying an average of $82 a month in premiums for their coverage—about one-fourth the bill they would have faced without such financial help, according to a new government analysis. […]

The government has previously reported that 87 percent of the 5.4 million Americans who chose a health plan through the federal health exchange qualified for some financial help.

The health officials said they have not yet analyzed the incomes of people who qualified for the subsidies. But overall, the report shows, the average monthly tax credit this year is $264. Without the federal help, the average premium chosen by people eligible for a tax credit would have been $346 per month, and the subsidy lowered the consumers’ premiums, on average, by 76 percent. The result is that four out of five people with subsidies are paying premiums of no more than $100 a month—although that does not include money they might need to spend for insurance deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.

The analysis also determined that there is healthy competition in the marketplaces in most areas. About 96 percent of people eligible to purchase plans on the exchange had at least two insurance companies to choose from. People had an average number 47 health plans to choose from on the exchanges, offered up by an average of five different insurers. A number of insurers have announced in recent weeks that they'll be entering the marketplace for the 2015 enrollment period, which means more people will have more choices and competition should help keep those premium costs down.

It's affordable. It's covering a lot of people. It's attractive to insurance companies. This thing is working. Republicans are very soon going to regret that they named it Obamacare.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:14:12 AM PDT

  •  What is your (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, ChuckChuckerson

    objective standard for what is "affordable"?

    This diary seems to only focus on premiums. Tack on high deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance, is it really the panacea you seem to be trumpeting?

    "this level of stupid snark should be upgraded"

    by Chuckling Quietly to Myself on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:25:22 AM PDT

    •  How about "way more affordable than before?" (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, JVolvo, cocinero, 714day, celdd

      I realize not everyone has that outcome, but far more (like me) do than don't. I've gone from being uninsured for eight months last year because I couldn't hack the over $500/month I was paying (plus about $100/month for prescriptions and high co-pays for any doctor visits) to having far better insurance for $147/month, with prescription costs and co-pays a third of what they were before.

      My impression is that many of the cases where people's costs have gone up is a matter of states where only one or two companies elected to participate. There's some hope, I think, that more companies will choose to participate next year now that they've seen how many people are signing up.

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:21:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All insurance requires co-pays and co-insurance. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is not new with the ACA, nor are their levels appreciably higher than they were previously in most cases. Of course, in some cases they are lower.
      "High deductibles" are now capped with the ACA at a certain point no matter what the plan. Also, certain services must be provided without charge, such as an annual check-up.
      I think the diarist was stating that it has been successful at providing coverage to those who could not afford any at all in the past, rather than "trumpeting" it as a "panacea." That seems to be a stretch on your part, not the diarist's.

  •  I'm one of those newly covered after (19+ / 0-)

    a lag of 11 years because of a pre-existing (which almost killed me twice during that stretch - my mantra was that I'd rather die for free than be in debt for the rest of my life; everyone knew I meant it...).
    I now pay 138.00 per month for what would otherwise cost me 649.00. I happily make my payments like clockwork. I had scads of plans to choose from in L.A.

    •  Must be nice to have choices. :( (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Congrats on having health insurance!

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:54:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The ACA is a VERY personal issue (7+ / 0-)

      for me.

      After a few years of not having/affording health ins., I got covered this past February. I live in New York. I had my first coloscopy in May of this year. I had one polyp and it was pre-cancerous.  Had I put off the surgery any sooner, I'd be  staring down the barrel of cancer.  I'm one of those who'll have to have colonoscopies yearly until they're clean.

      For me, it's win/win but then again, I live in a state that has a good number of plans to choose from.

      •  We are lucky not to live in those Red states (0+ / 0-)

        where we would be victims of the true death panels - uninsured and no money to pay for medical care - a situation likely to kill you.
        The monsters who have condemned their constituents to such a fate really fry me.

  •  And yet we're still dead last in the 1st world (5+ / 0-)

    and that massive corporate welfare is going to keep us there until heath is deemed a right and not subject to profiteering.

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:36:50 AM PDT

  •  I support ACA, but it costs me (3+ / 0-)

    I cannot put a price tag on knowing that millions of people have coverage who couldn't get it otherwise.  It's great, I'm happy about that and I give Obama credit for doing this.  It cost him dearly.

    However, it is costing me too.  My premiums are 25% higher this year than last --$787 for my wife and I--and I have very high deductibles and have a very low claims history.

    ACA is a good thing, but let's not pretend that its a great financial deal for everyone.  

    •  Ditto for me. (0+ / 0-)

      I am 100% behind health care reform both philosophically and practically.  However, my employer raised our rates by 50% and increased deductibles and co-pays (co-insurance?) as well as pharmacy costs - and this from a health care provider itself.  The reason (they say)?  So we are no longer considered a "cadillac" coverage plan which will cause the medical school to pay a penalty tax in 2017.  The powers to be decided to make a political point on the backs of its employees; we went from run-of-the-mill coverage to one of the worst in our regional health care complex. So for me, I will not be accessing routine medical care until my employers figure out that ObamaCare is not going to destroy the world and take the politics out of employee benefits.

      •  Honest, not troll, question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        because I hear this a lot more than I realized.  So, if your employer raises your costs, can you go off their plan and go through ACA website yourself?  Or does one get disqualified if they already have employer benefits.  I ask because a cousin of mine who is anti-obama to begin with says that she can't do better, "Even if she wanted to".  I don't even think she's clicked the ACA link!

        I'm a Kennedy Catholic.

        by EquiStar on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:23:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could be wrong, but my understanding is that (0+ / 0-)

          for now, if you are offered obamacare compliant insurance through your employer you cannot go on the exchange - even if you are not looking for subsidies.  I know I could do better on the exchange because I could get into a group that is more applicable to my situation (two adults, no children or other dependent, family plan), which is not available through my or my husband's employer (too small employee pool we are told).  That is why we are hoping that in the next decade or so, everyone will have the option to get insurance on the exchange (if single payer isn't here yet by then).  We also live in a state which is doing everything it can to make residents hate obamacare and many private companies / institutions / colleges are purposefully changing coverage options and increasing payments, etc and sending letters out blaming obamacare rules for the changes.  I am also hoping that when the hoopla dies down and these morons see that the world hasn't ended because americans can access affordable health care that these "games" by manipulative and heartless employers will end.

  •  I missed the part where the total cost of (2+ / 0-)

    subsidies is about 60% higher than had been projected, and is expected to grow even more.

    Some of that is that more people have signed up than was projected, and some of THAT is that some employers have ceased offering health coverage.

    Hope that the new taxes keep up with that, but really hope that we'll start actually looking at the cost of health care instead of simply passing it along.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:42:55 AM PDT

    •  We have been looking at cost (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, askew

      what's your point, other than you always have to find something to criticize with the ACA, or with Obama or Dems or anyone but the party that controls the House and won't do anything to help improve the law?

      •  My mistake. Really hope we'll start doing (0+ / 0-)

        something about them.

        BTW: Party that controls the House didn't control the House when the law was written.  At least you admit that it needs improvement.  That's a start.

        BTW: Elections are coming up.  Big opportunity to fix Congress.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:14:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've yet to read anyone on kos who doesn't think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          it needs improvements. That's a given.

          ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

          by denig on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:57:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some get a little aghast when you point problems (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            out.  Much more fun to listen to success stories than to stories like mine (which isn't even all that bad other than hours on the phone and the fact that we never could get our college-student daughter on our insurance).

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:45:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  We need price controls on providers. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, ybruti

    Anyone who's seen a medical bill lately knows it.  The insurance company may be paying it, the federal government may be helping, but the amount those people charge just to sleep in a bed or to get a ride to a hospital in an emergency is positively obscene.

    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

    by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:49:38 AM PDT

  •  so they pay $82.00 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chuckling Quietly to Myself

    for a premium,  what do they pay if they actually have to use the insurance?

    What is their copay?  what is their annual spending limit?

    how does that compare with only having to pay $82.00 per year so that you don't have to pay 10X the annual limit in case of a non-catastrophic illness or injury?

    Be the change that you want to see in the world

    by New Minas on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:52:07 AM PDT

  •  Just went up another 14.7% for this new year. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Seriously? $1400/month for a family.  We renew in the middle of the year for historic reasons.

    This is getting really painful.  Every year Blue Cross (NC) is jacking up prices.  A LOT.

    We have no meaningful competition in NC, and that 96% figure you quote above doesn't tell the whole story.

    About 96 percent of people eligible to purchase plans on the exchange had at least two insurance companies to choose from.
    Unless/until there is actual competition, my rates will SUCK.

    And we'd need more kids to qualify for any assistance: I'm done.

    (Can't figure out how to get equivalent pricing in other states, either.)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:52:50 AM PDT

  •  Paying more for their cable bill? (3+ / 0-)

    This suggests that the cable companies may be the next worst monopoly after the health insurance companies.

    Amazing how much more effective the economy can be when monopoly power is reined in. It improves quality of life for everyone.

    Now we need an Affordable Cable Act. Good luck with that.

  •  Affordable Care Act (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, ChuckChuckerson

    I realize the private healthcare insurers wouldn't let Obama give this nation the gift of a universal, single payer healthcare insurance system (or expanded Medicare) so he picked a mechanism that has the government paying the private sector for providing insurance.  Whew!

    It is far less expensive and far less absurd to let the government provide insurance for everybody and get the private sector out completely, but we in America are not blessed like the Europeans who adopted their public system before their private insurers got into the act.  Ours quit non-profit insuring and decided to make a profit off all of us and still are.

    •  You've got one of two choices: (0+ / 0-)

      the ACA or nothing.  Single payer is NOT going to be an option anytime soon.  OR, until average Americans get out in the streets en masse and agitate for it.  We can't even get Medicaid expansion nationwide.

      Take one step forward or you'll end up taking 4 steps back.

      •  Not true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We have several choices to improve the ACA.

        Why can't I buy into Medicare on these exchanges? It's the most cost-efficient provider of health insurance in America. Letting the public buy insurance from Medicare seems like a no-brainer.

        Also the ACA could be improved by further regulating the insurance industry. For example, we could limit the amount spent out-of-pocket annually for co-pays, lab tests, etc.

        We don't necessarily need to fill the streets, just keep up pressure on Democratic politicians and make it very clear that their job isn't done on this front. This is no time to be content.

  •  Comments so far.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, JVolvo

    indicate that those who have been hit in the pocketbook in any way, are much more likely to be vocal than those who have benefited $ wise (all other benefits such the security of no cancellations when you actually get sick, easier job mobility, etc. aside). Kind of like the 9 to 1 retail rule; a dissatisfied customer will tell 9x as many people about their experience as a satisfied client will.

    "Inequality is the root of social evil." ― Pope Francis

    by GoodGod on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:06:18 AM PDT

  •  Hillbilly Politician (0+ / 0-)

    I just saw an advertisement for Republican Congressman David McKinley of WV. — "Fighting Obamacare."

    What kind of creep is this guy?

    A true Wack-a-Doodle Dandy.

  •  I betcha they start calling it ACA (0+ / 0-)

    and by 2016 will take credit for passing (reforming) it.

  •  Great. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poison kitchen, Square Knot

    Now if we can just figure out how to get insurance to all the people in states that didn't take the expansion.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:49:05 AM PDT

  •  I read this at Forbes... (0+ / 0-)

    It talks of premiums going up all over. Can someone help me, the numbers look way off??

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:18:33 AM PDT

  •  Affordable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with many conditions of copays, prepaiments, covering 70 or 80% with quite high tops for lower middle class. Full coverage is still quite unaffordable. Its a step forward but falls short in several aspects

  •  Going beyong focus on premiums (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some here are pointing out that "affordable" becomes far less so if we focus on overall costs apart from premiums. This is true; someone may have a low monthly payment but if they are in a bronze plan there are co-pays but above all, a deductible that is more than $6000.

    Having said that ...imagine a $6000 cap instead of a "lose everything" open-ended scenario, or one in which the alternative is NO insurance at all. Thinking about this is one way I console myself about the fact that my insurance rates are higher by $150 per month (I am in my 60s). I'm not happy about the possibility that, say, cataract surgery will mean $6000 out of pocket - but so would $100,000 heart surgery if the need should arise.

    Here is another way I console myself, as a devoted believer in universal health care as a basic characteristic of a civilized society. A few years ago I stood in line to sign in for a check-up. I overheard the woman in front of me conversing with the check-in staffer; the woman had a suspicious lump in her breast, and asked for a mammogram. The staffer started processing her request for an appointment and asked her what kind of insurance she had. The woman answered that she was uninsured, and after a brief discussion of costs, ultimately she went away with no appointment. I was horrified to think that this woman would now go off and possibly face breast cancer that might have been prevented or caught early; it made me ashamed.

    The ACA has fixed that situation. It has imperfections, to be sure, mainly due to the compromises demanded by those who'd just as soon have the uninsured woman go off and die, but I will gladly pay my extra $150 knowing that that shameful episode in my doctor's office won't be repeated.


    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:36:44 AM PDT

  •  It's better than nothing, (0+ / 0-)

    but we MUST continue to demand further reform. This is no time to rest on our laurels. The job isn't even close to being done.

    It's great that these premiums are affordable to many. However, even after paying the premium every month many people will still have to lay out hundreds of dollars more to actually receive medical treatment.

    We need affordable insurance that doesn't force people living paycheck-to-paycheck to pay out  money that they don't have when they go to use their newly-bought insurance.

  •  Check the rates in the SF Bay Area for someone ... (0+ / 0-)

    Check the rates in the SF Bay Area for someone in their 50's and if you think it's affordable, your definition differs from mine

  •  No luck here (0+ / 0-)

    I didn't see anything remotely close to affordable except some scammy HSAs for almost $200 a month, and tax credits (which apparently as a young male non-parent I don't deserve anyway) don't exactly help when your income is below the income tax threshold. "Get people insured by telling them they have to buy insurance or else," brilliant idea! Thanks, Heritage.

    "Elect Republicans, and they will burn the place down. And they will laugh while they do it and have a great time. And then what?" -- Rachel Maddow

    by LumineHall on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 04:53:48 PM PDT

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