All attention has been on the failed roll-out of the internet based “medical insurance exchanges” that are a central feature of President Obama’s healthcare reform. But the Los Angeles Time reports on a bigger problem – the Affordable Care Act threatens to make medical insurance unaffordable for large numbers of Americans.
Some supporters of Obamacare contend that we should accept price increases for some people in order to pay the cost of insuring the uninsured. But the Affordable Care Act goes beyond simplye requiring people to buy medical insurance. It mandates that all insurance plans must provide a standard set of benefits, rather than allowing people to choose the insurance benefits they want and that they want to pay for.
Many states already mandate a variety of mandated benefits, and that is a cause of the rising cost of healthcare insurance. The new federal law goes beyond already existing mandates, requiring that medical insurance cover birth control, mental health therapy and other benefits targeted to specific groups in the population. While it might be good to have these benefits as possible add-ons for people who do want to pay to have protection, requiring everyone to buy the same benefit package will make medical insurance more expensive for millions.
The new mandates contradict President Obama’s promise that “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” The Los Angeles Times reports:
Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage.
Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month.
This is just one example, but as the insurance exchanges become active and people see what they will be required to pay, the honeymoon for the Affordable Care Act will come to an end.
The full article from The Los Angeles Times can be read @ http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-health-sticker-shock-20131027,0,2756077.story#axzz2j4EwYjar