ObamaCare: Rate shock in Illinois and across the nation

By Naomi Lopez Bauman | Oct 17, 2013

One of the harsh realities of ObamaCare is that the insurance plans available under the president’s sweeping law are more expensive than insurance that is currently available.

For example, a 27-year-old man living in Chicago would pay $125 per month for the lowest-cost “bronze” plan under ObamaCare. If that individual had an income of $25,000, the cost would be $96 even with a federal subsidy. That same individual would receive a smaller subsidy as his income increases.

Today, however, that same young man can already purchase similar coverage for $77 per month.

A new study from the Heritage Foundation confirms that the rate shock we are seeing in Illinois’ insurance market is, unfortunately, not unique to our state. The study reports:

“Our research finds that for many states, the insurance on health exchanges will cost more than existing insurance. This study illustrates that the general experience for individuals shopping on the exchange is that of increasing premiums from what was available to them prior to implementation of the exchanges. Many families and individuals will face this reality as they apply for coverage, and the implications of experiencing sticker shock are important to consider if enough people choose not to sign up for coverage for various reasons.”

The study found that for an Illinois adult age 27, the average monthly premium for a similar policy would rise to $250 from $116, a 114 percent increase. An Illinois adult age 50 would see their premium grow to $426 from $298, for a 43 percent increase.

Federal officials are spending $35 million to market the Illinois health insurance exchange, won’t release health plan details and have been concealing Illinois’ enrollment numbers.  Now we know why.

Naomi Lopez Bauman is Director of Health Policy for the Illinois Policy Institute. 

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