Study: Obamacare will increase underlying insurance premiums by 41 percent
49-state analysis proves steepest hikes will be imposed on the young and healthy
Sometimes, it doesn't pay to be young and healthy. A new study of the changes to be brought to the United States due to health care reform is that the young and healthy will face the steepest insurance hikes. A 49-state analysis has also found that Obamacare's taxpayer-funded subsidies will primarily benefit those nearing retirement - people who have had their whole lives to save for their health-care needs.
The most profound hikes will be imposed on the healthy, the young and the male.
Using data from a few mostly-blue states as the remainder were mostly participating in the federal exchange, analysis found that underlying premiums would increase by 24 percent in those 13 states, in addition to Washington, D.C.
Obamacare's supporters argue that these rate increases aren't important, because many people will be protected from them by federal subsidies - but these subsidies aren't free. They're paid for by taxpayers. It is irresponsible for people to argue that subsidies somehow make irrelevant the underlying cost of health insurance.
The most recent study of both premium and subsidy data for every state except Hawaii. This nearly-complete analysis finds that the average state will face underlying premium increases of 41 percent.
Men will face the steepest increases: 77, 37, and 47 percent for 27-year-olds, 40-year-olds, and 64-year-olds, respectively. Women will also face increases, to a lesser degree: 18 percent, 28 percent, and 37 percent for 27-, 40-, and 64-year-olds.
Eight states will enjoy average premium reductions under Obamacare: New York (-40 percent), Colorado (-22 percent), Ohio (-21 percent), Massachusetts (-20 percent), New Jersey (-19 percent), New Hampshire (-18 percent), Rhode Island (-10 percent), and Indiana (-3 percent).
The eight states that will face the biggest increases in underlying premiums are largely southern and western states: Nevada (+179 percent), New Mexico (+142 percent), Arkansas (+138 percent), North Carolina (+136 percent), Vermont (+117 percent), Georgia (+92 percent), South Dakota (+77 percent), and Nebraska (+74 percent).
"The key thing to understand about our before-and-after comparison is that it is an average," Avik Roy writes in Forbes magazine. "If you're healthy today, you will face steeper rate increases than these figures indicate. If you have a serious medical condition, however, and haven't been able to find affordable health coverage as a result, you will do much better under Obamacare than the average person. Men will face steeper increases than women in most states, because women consume more health care than men do, and Obamacare forbids insurers to charge different prices on the basis of gender.
"In addition, our comparison ignores other differences between pre-Obamacare and post-Obamacare plans. For example, in some cases, people looking for comparably-priced coverage on the exchanges will need to accept higher deductibles and other cost-sharing arrangements."
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