Claims that health insurance under Obamacare is actually more expensive are offered with little supporting factual documentation. Now that Obamacare is actually available, we can compare costs. But it would be next to impossible to compare the costs before Obamacare and after for each individual or family, because there would be infinite variations.
To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to do an apples to apples comparison of the health insurance premium my wife and I paid before Obamacare vs. what we are now paying after enrolling in Obamacare.
I believe many of the “well-to-do” have stridently opposed Obamacare.
With my income, most people would consider my wife and me part of that well-to-do group. However, unlike most in that group, we are considered uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions.
As a result, we had to go into Minnesota’s high-risk pool, known as the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA), to purchase health insurance.
I am 63 and my wife is 61. Beginning on July 1, 2012, through Jan. 1, 2014, the cost of our MCHA premium was $1,788 per month for my wife and me. This was for a $1,000 deductible plan for both my wife and me, with a maximum lifetime benefit of $5 million.
My wife and I have now enrolled in Obamacare via a large, well-known health insurance company with coverage that began Jan. 1, 2014. We are now paying $1,053.98 per month (compared with $1,788 per month in the previously mentioned pre-Obamacare plan) with a similar $1,000 deductible. This is a savings of $734 per month — $8,808 per year. A 41 percent cost savings. Wow!
In addition, the Obamacare plan has an unlimited lifetime benefit, which is literally priceless for those who find themselves in a severe health crisis. Our post-Obamacare plan also offers the first two office or urgent-care visits at no cost, without satisfying a deductible, and it offers the first two specialist visits each year at no cost.
As I mentioned earlier, all individual situations are different. Some individuals and families may find their prior health insurance less expensive. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I certainly found my Obamacare choice far less expensive. This surprised me. I wasn’t expecting such a large reduction in cost, because with my income none of the cost was subsidized by the government, whereas the majority of enrollees’ costs will be subsidized to some extent.
Don’t be fooled by special-interest groups and fat cats who demonize Obamacare.
Jay Larson, of St. Bonifacius, is a financial adviser.