No, Obamacare hasn't produced huge increases in everyone's health insurance | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No, Obamacare hasn't produced huge increases in everyone's health insurance

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 7:40 AM

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  • Mother Jones
I wrote yesterday, but it bears repeating, that the Republican talking point about huge health insurance rate increases under Obamacare is, at best, wildly misleading. Dishonest is more accurate, I believe.

The health marketplace rates at issue, where average increases could be 22 to 25 percent,  cover only 6 or 7 percent of the population. What's more, most of those people qualify for federal subsidies that buffer the rate increases

Kevin Drum illustrates in Mother Jones. Send the link to Sen. Tom Cotton the next time he puts out one of his social media messages about calamitous rate increases (which are closer to 10 percent than 25 percent, not counting subsidies, in Arkansas.) He put together the chart above that illustrates how subsides outpace rate increases in 15 state reporting the biggest increases. And the second chart shows that Arkansas is one of those states where the subsidies outpace the rate increase. We are among the states with the lowest increases. FYI Sen. Cotton.

There are some exceptions. Upper income families who are in the marketplace because they don't have employer insurance don't get the subsidies.  Their number is small, but their pain is real. Writes Drum:

However, it gives us a pretty good idea that for a substantial majority of Obamacare users, the net amount they pay for health insurance in 2017 isn't going to be much more than it was this year. For many, in fact, it will be the same. For those who shop around, it's quite likely to be less.

Bottom line: if your income is low enough to qualify for a subsidy, there's no need to panic over the Obamacare premium news. The higher premiums will help stabilize the market, and the cost will be covered almost entirely by Uncle Sam. Your pocketbook is safe.
PS: This is a good broad explainer from Vox on the totality of Obamacare.

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