Health Coverage under Obamacare May Prove Costly to Individual Buyers

With the introduction of new healthcare reforms enacted by the Affordable Care Act, many Americans covered by health insurance in the individual marketplace will be forced to enroll in new coverage plans. People will be required to opt for new insurance since many of these plans are not in accordance with newly established standards set by the new healthcare law. As a result, many insurers will be forced to either tack on benefits, or cancel policies altogether.

The new offerings are associated with higher rates for individual buyers, since coverage is more comprehensive and must be available to individuals affected by pre-existing conditions. Nevertheless, several insurers have managed to maintain lower rates by providing plans with higher deductibles and minimal benefits. Additionally, these insurers could be pickier in the approval process by only selecting the healthiest applicants.

As more and more people have been receiving policy cancellation notices paired with new offerings provided by their insurer for 2014, the sticker shock has brought on increased feelings of aggravation among those impacted. Many are unhappy with the options offered in the  marketplace. Some face climbing premiums and costly increases in deductibles. Some report their current deductibles of $1,500 are expected to rise to $5,000 under Obamacare for similar policies.  It isn’t just deductibles, visits to the doctor and prescriptions are also subject to increase.

Nevertheless, a small number of existing plans will become grandfathered. In order to obtain this status, two qualifying factors must be met. First, members must have been enrolled in these policies before the passage of the ACA back in March 2010. Additionally, no significant policy changes should have been made to the plans until now, ranging from alterations in co-pays and deductibles to coverage costs.

Currently, Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the major healthcare providers within the individual insurance marketplace, as well as the exchanges. Kim Holland, the trade group’s executive director of state affairs, said that the majority of existing individual plans offered by Blue Cross will soon be altered or discontinued. As a result, some customers will be forced to enroll in new coverage plans.

Although customers may receive letters indicating significant increases in premiums, they won’t exactly know what to expect in regards to payments until they actually explore the exchange. Generally, if an individual brings in less than $46,000 a year or $94,200 for a family of four, federal subsidies will be available to decrease monthly expenses.

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