AHIP (American Health Insurance Plans) Predicts Increase
According to a recent article I read on the AHIP (American Health Insurance Plans) website they believe health insurance premiums will rise again in 2024 by about 6% nationally. They base this on several factors, including the everlasting effects of Obamacare and the rising costs of all goods and services. However, to this blogger, Obamacare is the main culprit.
Let me explain: Obamacare made healthcare available to those with chronic or serious diseases. Prior you had to prove you were insurable to get individual coverage. Group coverage is not nor was an issue.
Insurance companies routinely turned sick people away as non-insurable and had been doing that for many years. Not the most desirable choice but one that was legal until the law changed. What most Americans do not realize is the monthly premiums keep rising annually while the deductible and maximum out of pockets keep increasing due to the fact that everyone can now be insured regardless of their health.
I’ve mentioned this in several other blogs but prior to Obamacare a male under 30 could buy a $1000 deductible, with a $3000 maximum out-of-pocket for under $80 per month. Even with inflation that premium would be around $200. Today there are no policies with that low of a deductible and maximum out-of-pocket and the lowest cost plans are in the $400-450 per month with higher deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket.
Today the best use of your premium dollars is to buy the highest deductible with the highest maximum out-of-pocket and lowest monthly premium because in truth you will never hit the deductible or maximum out-of-pocket unless hospitalized. Your everyday needs are filled with either a fixed copay or % and all expenses go towards the deductible and max out-of-pocket.
Not the way it used to be but is the new normal. Many clients seek coverage from the exchange because they qualify for a subsidy to pay part or all of their insurance premiums. This is an alternative that while helping people has a cost associated with raising our income taxes. Those that cannot get the subsidy are really paying twice. Their taxes go towards healing those in need (or perceived need) saving them premium dollars monthly. Most all those receiving this aid are legitimate while a small few are lowering their income to get a higher subsidy even though they must reconcile their income against what they claimed.
Things Can Be Tricky When Trying To Save Money
When they go to do their tax filings for the year, the proverbial rubber meets the road. Meaning they must show what subsidy they received and the tax forms provide a calculation to compare income to subsidy. In those cases where the income is higher than they originally claimed will have to pay back the extra money they received before they get a refund. I’d suggest that about 45% of those getting subsidies must pay back the excess. Some learn and adjust their income for the subsidy while others continue to lie about their income to get a larger subsidy thus reducing their monthly premium cost. In 2018, the latest available data indicates that 2.2 million people had to pay part or all of their subsidy
To me, there is a simpler approach. Once caught by the government their income should be locked into the healthcare system database and cannot change unless they submit proof of different income. Yes, punitive in some ways but I personally am tired of paying for those who can pay but choose alternative methods to avoid those additional costs. I’m not in favor of interest-free loans which is exactly what overpayments represent. If the intent can be proven that they are not telling the truth deliberately, then they should be fined and jailed for insurance fraud.
Why should they be allowed to continue to pursue cheating everyone without either fines or dis-enrollment? It’s a reward for those that cheat while those that do not are paying the price.
Yes, we do need healthcare for everyone which will hopefully help reduce the sickness rate in this country but not at the expense of the honest over the dishonest.
We need to all reach out to our elected officials and tell them things need to change. In Nevada, since we have our own exchange we need to contact the legislative people in our districts and demand they take a stand and help fix this problem.
I hope this information is useful and if anyone has questions, please contact me via phone or email and I will respond quickly.
Also, if you are in need of Medicare information, take a look at Medicare 2023 Information.
The Barend Agency Inc.
Len Barend, Broker