The Affordable Care Act was intended to help people on low incomes to cope with the cost of healthcare. In principle, Obamacare seems like a great idea, but the high deductibles of policies offered through the Affordable Care Act mean that many people are now opting to skip essential health care because they are concerned about the cost of the high deductibles.
There are more than seven million Americans with private coverage via Affordable Care Act providers, and more than 80 percent of those qualified for some federal subsidies to help them with their monthly premiums, but the Affordable Care Act deductibles are still a crippling expense for those people.
The Affordable Care Act deductibles can be in excess of $5,000 for an individual, or $10,000 for a family. Insurers say that this is the trade-off for the low premiums, but the end result is that while those who need incredibly expensive health care may benefit in the long term, the out-of-pocket costs are just too much for a lot of people, and this means that they hesitate to seek medical advice or to get treatment that their doctor recommends.
Is Obamacare Really Working?
The idea behind the Affordable Care Act was a bold and brave one, and in many respects it has delivered on the promises that President Obama made. It has forced insurers to cover preventative measures such as breast or colon cancer screening and even cholesterol checks carried out by providers that are within the insurer’s network, but that is just one element of medicine. Consumers are still left out of pocket for things like prescription medications, and the insurance provider won’t help with those costs until the deductible is met. For families that struggle to cover their rent each month, this is a crippling problem.
A high deductible plan that covers long hospital stays, surgery, or very severe illnesses could prevent families from being plunged into catastrophic debt, but if the deductible is encouraging people to opt out of more routine care, then this could lead to those people developing long-term health issues that could cost them and their insurance providers a lot more in the long term.
Mainstream, employer-sponsored health care plans often have deductibles that are around $1,200 – that is less than one quarter of the deductible that many bronze-level Affordable Care Act providers use. The bronze level is the least expensive coverage level, and the people who choose it are probably least able to pay high deductibles. Even the silver level, which is the most popular at the moment, has a deductible of around $3,000, which is a huge amount for someone who has an unstable or low income.
In some respects, Obamacare has been a success, but there are some worrying trends associated with it. There are subsidies available to help with the deductibles for some low income families, but not all families will qualify for this help. The system is still new, but perhaps it needs a review already?
Can I Get Help With My High Deductible Health Care Insurance?
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