Mugged by Reality: My Obamacare Notice

Yesterday in the mail, my wife and I got our premium notice from the health care exchange. Our monthly premium is going up 70 percent, and our deductible is going up also.

I wonder if any of the pundits who claim that Obamacare is working are actually getting their health insurance through an exchange.

I wonder how many of us who have not supported Donald Trump are feeling mugged by reality.

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30 Responses to Mugged by Reality: My Obamacare Notice

  1. freetofu says:

    Huh. Mine costs about half what I paid before. I was even able to change companies, which I would not have been able to do before.

    Health care costs were rising fast before. They are rising more slowly now.

    We really need single payer, of course, but what we had before Obamacare was horrible for many people.

    • freetofu says:

      I mean, do you actually believe that this increase was the result of “Obamacare,” as opposed to something that would have happened anyway, as previous trends would suggest? Cause I think it’s the latter.

      • Handle says:

        No. The sudden and severe price jumps and rapid, unpredictable churn in the availability of plans for large portions of the population is unprecedented. Ironically, boosters of the program would tell similar sad but rare anecdotes of what the former system did to a few unlucky people. But now with community rating, everybody gets to suffer simultaneously, instead of enjoying stability, as was promised. “Heckuva job”

        • freetofu says:

          Well, maybe that was a stupid thing for me to say, but anyway, I’m sure that whatever Arnold is paying is pocket change to him, so I wouldn’t take his experience as evidence that the sky was falling, and if we’re arguing from anecdote, again, my experience has been good.

      • BC says:

        The upheaval is in the individual market, where Obamacare applies, not in the employer market. This is *not* a story about already existing trends.

    • Yancey Ward says:

      Post a link to your insurance bill. I for one would like to see it.

  2. Handle says:

    Ouch, my sympathy. I’ll again make my pitch for self-repealing laws should promised benefits not materialize, or costs exceed the assurances of the sales pitch.

  3. Mogden says:

    Only seventy percent? You got off easy! Mine over doubled.

  4. Asdf says:

    Nobody is meant to pay their Obamacare premiums. The vast majority are payed for by subsidy. It’s a transfer from the middle class to poor minorities. Anyone who thought it was anything but a cash grab from one interest group to another was a sucker.

    • MG says:

      Well, you can also add the upper classes (upper middle, even) in the donor group. Remember the increase in the medicare wage tax and the 3.8% additional tax on investment income if you and your spouse make a combined $250K (not inflation adjusted: if you are not paying it now, you likely will). Oh, and the tax gap that the program’s deficits will need to be paid by the usual suspects.

    • EMichael says:

      ” It’s a transfer from the middle class to poor minorities.”

      What’s the point of talking about a subject that you absolutely know nothing about?

      • asdf says:

        I worked on Obamacare directly as an actuary. I know a lot about it. Your some dude who thought questioning the credibility of a stranger on the internet constituted a counter arguement.

  5. Slocum says:

    If I were in your situation, I’d find a non-Obamacare alternative.

    1. Join a health sharing ministry.
    2. Get a low-cost non-compliant short-term policy and pay the penalty.
    3. Go naked and pay the penalty–you can’t be refused Obamacare coverage later if you get sick and can sign up mid-year if you have any ‘qualifying events’ (some of which are under your control).

  6. Lord says:

    Mine will only increase a few % this year after a 10% rise last year so I am happy. Even have two more alternatives, one less expensive but not as good. Do check your alternatives. Insurers know people hate to change and will increase rates more than average because of it. Expect employers premiums to increase as well. After several years of low growth (and it was low despite many with substandard policies being faced with large increases due to meeting the standard), it is catching up now. With this increase, healthcare spending is back on track to hit levels projected before Obamacare.

  7. steve says:

    This is an econ blog and an increase for one person is supposed to be persuasive? This is so sad.


    • Dan W. says:

      Make that two people, and since I am one of 10 employees in my company make that 11 people. At some point anecdotes become statistical truths. I think we have reached that point.

      Obama himself promised his namesake law would reduce health insurance prices. He lied. Yet what political accountability has he or his party faced for this lie?

  8. Jon Murphy says:

    Yikes, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve lost my insurance 3 times due to Obamacare and my premiums increased nearly 400% over the past 5 years.

  9. EMichael says:

    Healthcare is expensive.

    Costs in the exchanges are less than projected by the CBO. Costs in the exchanges are less than employer provided insurance plans.

    When someone thinks that an anecdote that now encompasses 11 unknown people is a “statistical truth”, there is no reason to believe anything they say.

  10. Fielding says:

    And that’s why I just laughed at the guy in the other thread talking about how great Obamacare was.

    Aetna will be down to 4 states next year and UnitedHealth three. Many counties will only have one plan. So it’s already single payer if you’re into that.

    And Slocum is on to something. That’s the COBRA strategy.

  11. Obamacare is great for many. If you are a small business owner and in your 50’s such as myself it is a nightmare. My youngest daughter graduated this past May and started in August as a 3rd grade teacher. She was added to the NC state system at the end of September. She was thus dropped from my United Healthcare ACA plan. That resulted in a $1,000 a month increase in our plan. Basically I lost my subsidy. Now the cheapest plan I can find for my wife and myself is $1,713 per month with a $14,300 deductible. That would be about 40% of my gross income. That’s affordable?? I wonder if Mr. Obama had to pay 40% of his nearly 500K salary for health insurance he’d think it was affordable? That would be about $200,000. There’s no way i can afford this. I’m looking at medi-share or paying the penalty and praying for the best. The ACA is another wealth distribution program that penalizes upward mobility. It was written by morons…

  12. BC says:

    My Obamacare premiums are set to increase by 39%. But, it’s worse than that. I am on a PPO plan this year, but that plan has been dropped from the individual market and Obamacare exchanges. The insurer continues to offer that plan to the employer market. The default renewal plan is an HMO, and that plan’s premiums are 39% higher than my present PPO.

    I went on the exchange (in Massachusetts), and there are *no* PPO plans available even though, again, they are available for employer-sponsored plans. Does anyone know why Obamacare would drive PPO plans out of the market? I can think of two reasons. One is the guaranteed-issue requirement. People could game that by signing up for cheaper HMO plans but switch over to a PPO if they develop a condition that makes them want to see an out-of-network doctor. Hence, death spiral. The second reason could be that the Medical Loss Ratio rules, which require that 80% of premiums be spent on medical services instead of overhead, may not make sense for PPOs for some reason.

    Also, I could find only 1 HSA-eligible plan. The wise Obamacare architects decided to use a different inflation index for adjusting max out-of-pocket limits on Obamacare plans than on HSA-eligible plans. Those limits are diverging, making the limits on “standard” Obamacare plans incompatible with HSA regulations. Unsatisfied with regulating private businesses out of existence, with Obamacare the government is managing to regulate its own regulations out of existence.

    So, it’s not just that Obamacare is causing premiums to skyrocket. It’s causing insurers to drop plans that people otherwise would have been able to purchase. Denialist rationalizations about anecdotes vs. statistics don’t apply. One merely has to examine the difference between the exchange plans and employer-sponsored plans, which are less impacted by Obamacare rules.

  13. BC says:

    Also, can anyone explain the reference to Trump and “mugged by reality”? I thought Trump was all over the place on healthcare, including a generally favorable view towards single-payer systems like the one in Canada.

    • Fielding says:

      I interpreted his comment about Trump as an allusion to his stated intent to vote for Gary Johnson. I may have mis-interpreted.

      I frankly haven’t paid much attention to Trump’s healthcare platform, so I looked on his website: here’s what I found (FWIW):

      [To view Mr. Trump’s position, visit

      * Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
      * Work with Congress to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability.
      * Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage.
      * Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market.
      * Maximize flexibility for states via block grants so that local leaders can design innovative Medicaid programs that will better serve their low-income citizens.]

  14. Phil Baylor says:

    I’m a Canadian . I don’t pay anything ! Ha Ha . Doctor visits , hospital visits , the most expensive operation , that would bankrupt you poor people , all for free ! Yes , of course , general Provincial and Federal taxes fund it , but that’s okay as it’s spread out over the population and all contribute . Ohh , that’s like Socialism . Can’t have that in the U.S. of A ! No one goes bankrupt here over medical issues .

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