Where Does Your Health Insurance Premium Go? »

AHIP, the trade association for health insurers, has a nifty infographic answering the question: “Where does your premium dollar go?” Obviously designed to defray accusations that health insurers earn too much profit, the infographic shows “net margin: of only three percent. A full 80 percent of our premium dollar goes to paying medical, hospital,...
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Why Do Late Middle-Aged Women Allow Obamacare to Gouge Them? »

In February, Professor Mark Pauly of the Wharton Business School wrote a short article proposing reforms to individual health insurance, in which he reminded us the biggest premium hike in the market for individual insurance consequent to Obamacare was among women in their 60s. His actual research was published in 2014, but I have...
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Health Spending and Prices to Rise, 2018 through 2025 »

Before the Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, President Obama repeatedly promised that the typical family’s health premiums would go down by $2,500 after implementing the expansion of health insurance we label Obamacare. Nothing of the sort has happened, of course. For the past few years, prices and spending have appeared moderate by...
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Are Obamacare Plans Cheaper than Private Coverage? »

Scholars at the Urban Institute, staunch defenders of Obamacare, have previously struggled to find ways to report Obamacare’s good news by pointing out “there is no meaningful national average” of premium hikes. More recently, they have concluded that Obamacare coverage is 10 percent less expensive than employer-based coverage. Comparing average employer-based premiums to the...
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Obamacare Premiums to Increase 25 Percent »

Even I did not think it would be this bad: The Obama administration has confessed that the average 2017 Obamacare premium hike for the benchmark (second-lowest-cost) Silver plan will be 25 percent. (Back in June, it looked like the hike would be 16 percent.) Don’t worry, says the administration, tax credits will ensure that...
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Medicaid Expansion and Obamacare Premiums »

Of all the false economies the Obama administration touted in favor of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the latest claim is a whopper. According to a paper published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in August, states which expanded Medicaid dependency experienced lower premiums for individual health insurance offered in Obamacare...
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Confirmed: Obamacare’s 2016 Average Rate Hike Was Eight Percent »

We are already anticipating double-digit premium hikes for Obamacare plans in 2017, based on insurance filings in a sufficient number of states to show the trend. Obamacare’s defenders point out two limits to these leading indicators. First, they are requested, not approved rate hikes. Second, Obamacare beneficiaries can trade down. A person whose plan...
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Insurers Increase Taxpayers’ Costs in Obamacare Exchanges »

In the latest budget update, published in March, the Congressional Budget Office estimated 10 million people would be enrolled in taxpayer-subsidized Obamacare health plans with a total subsidy (via tax credits) of $32 billion this year. That would amount to an average subsidy per enrollee of $267 per month. In April, analysts at the...
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Guess Who Pays the “Slacker Mandate”? Workers with No Kids! »

The “slacker mandate” is the provision in Obamacare requiring employer-based health plans to offer benefits to adult dependents of their workers, up to age 26. I have discussed research showing that the mandate reduced work among adults, aged 19 to 26, and increased the time they spend socializing, sleeping, and exercising. What about the...
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Why Employer Benefit Costs Are Rising Slowly »

Aon Hewitt, a leading actuarial consulting firm, has reported extremely good news about the cost of employee benefits: 2015 Records Lowest U.S. Health Care Cost Increases in Nearly 20 years – Rate of increase was 3.2% – Average health care cost per employee topped $11,000 – Employees’ share of health care costs have increased...
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