One thing that pretty much everyone expected if he/she had paid attention during the ObamaCare debate is that the new law would impose a huge cost on young people. That seems to be happening.
But what do we make of the following situation. An economist friend in California received this e-mail from a friend who lives in Oakland, California:
I thought you might appreciate my rage after I came home just now with information from Kaiser about 2014.
They "matched" my previous high-deductible plan to the CA Bronze HSA plan allowed under Obamacare. Here are the highlights:
• Deductible increasing from $4,000 to $4,500
• Annual out-of-pocket maximum increasing from $5,600 to $6,350
But here's the really fun part. My monthly premium is going from $302 to $625.73.
I will of course have to look at switching providers, so I get to experience the "Exchange" I thought I could avoid. I'm also eligible for subsidies, of course, so I could leach off taxpayers. I had considered honorably not doing so, but that may have flown out the window.
Could this be ObamaCare at work? That's my most likely guess. But why? This guy is 63 years old and he's one of the people who presumably should have benefited because of the forced wealth transfer from the young that ObamaCare intends. So why didn't he benefit?
In a follow-up e-mail, here's his further information, including his speculation about why his rates increased:
The Kaiser packet announcing my premium of $625.73 also included this, of interest:
"The difference between your 2014 monthly health coverage rate and your current health coverage rate is . . . 107.2 percent.
This difference is due to:
• General costs associated with the administration and delivery of health care.
• New benefit and enrollment rules under health care reform."
I just received my November Consumer Reports, by the way, and Kaiser has the highest rating among California health plans. Blue Shield has the lowest, and also the lowest prices (though not by much) at coveredca.com.
One last thing that just came to mind: I had been a Kaiser member for a while, and they knew I had a very good health record. I can't help thinking that one HUGE factor in the premium increase is of course that now they have to cover any 63-year-old who walks in the door. Lifetime smoker? No problem. Have cancer? Come on in.