An article by Ricardo Alonso-Zildivar of the Associated Press claims Texas’ largest health insurer plans to raise premiums by as much as 60 percent next year. The article assures us few people will be harmed — most enrollees have their premiums capped as a percentage of household income. Thus, it’s actually taxpayers who will get gouged. The article does admit that some people — those who are too wealthy to qualify for premium subsidies — may suffer sticker shock next November when they price their coverage for 2017.
This reminds me that my wife is a self-employed consultant from Texas. Last November when she called her insurance agent he quoted her a $6,750 deductible PPO plan that cost approximately $500 per month for an annual premium of $6,000 per year. A 60 percent increase over $500 is $800 per month. That works out to nearly $10,000 per year for coverage that will likely carry a deductible of $7,000. Let me see if I understand this arrangement correctly? If my wife enrollees in BlueCross coverage, she will have to spend $17,000 per year before her coverage actually coverage anything more than a well-woman visit or an annual physical too rudimentary to actually be of any benefit. If she doesn’t enroll in health coverage, she will have to pay 2.5 percent of our income in penalties. That doesn’t sound like much of a choice.
If the intent of Obamacare was to destroy the market for individual health insurance, the plan is working perfectly. If its intention was to make coverage affordable, then it’s not working too well.