Forbes: In California, Obamacare To Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums By 64-146%

Last week, the state of California claimed that its version of Obamacare’s health insurance exchange would actually reduce premiums. “These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard,” boasted Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange. But the data that Lee released tells a different story: Obamacare, in fact, will increase individual-market premiums in California by as much as 146 percent. One of the most serious flaws with Obamacare is that its blizzard of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own.

Here’s what happened. Last week, Covered California—the name for the state’s Obamacare-compatible insurance exchange—released the rates that Californians will have to pay to enroll in the exchange.

“The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”

That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted Peter Lee.

Except that Lee was making a misleading comparison. He was comparing apples—the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market—and oranges—the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group. The difference is critical.

If you’re a 25 year old male non-smoker, buying insurance for yourself, the cheapest plan on Obamacare’s exchanges is the catastrophic plan, which costs an average of $184 a month. (By “average,” I mean the median monthly premium across California’s 19 insurance rating regions.)

The next cheapest plan, the “bronze” comprehensive plan, costs $205 a month. But in 2013, on (NASDAQ:EHTH), the median cost of the five cheapest plans was only $92.

In other words, for the typical 25-year-old male non-smoking Californian, Obamacare will drive premiums up by between 100 and 123 percent.

Under Obamacare, only people under the age of 30 can participate in the slightly cheaper catastrophic plan. So if you’re 40, your cheapest option is the bronze plan. In California, the median price of a bronze plan for a 40-year-old male non-smoker will be $261.

But on eHealthInsurance, the median cost of the five cheapest plans was $121. That is, Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.

For both 25-year-olds and 40-year-olds, then, Californians under Obamacare who buy insurance for themselves will see their insurance premiums double.

I won’t presume to know how all this is going to shake out. Only time will tell who is being honest and who is full of crap. But, given the fact that the government will be running the system, compels me to be….well just a bit skeptical.

  1. C. Garison says:

    If Premiums double under ObamaCare, the working class will revolt as the economy goes into the dumper.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Workers of the world unite!

    • MikeN says:

      There’s always political hacks who will look to explain it away. See Paul Krugman:

      In short, what the living wage is really about is not living standards, or even economics, but morality. Its advocates are basically opposed to the idea that wages are a market price — determined by supply and demand, the same as the price of apples or coal. And it is for that reason, rather than the practical details, that the broader political movement of which the demand for a living wage is the leading edge is ultimately doomed to failure: For the amorality of the market economy is part of its essence, and cannot be legislated away.

    • MikeN says:

      People without health insurance have had their problems solved because ObamaCare will mandate that they buy health insurance!

      Costs are cut by having an IPAB that reduces payments.

      So the Democratic health care plan can be summed up as get sick and die.

  2. Jonas says:

    The working middle class will be charged more to pay for those who don’t or won’t work. Its likely that simple.

    And those who cannot or will not work for a living will perpetuate this forever, as they will remain the majority voting base.

    I have no issue with helping those who truly need it. But the deadbeats need to be identified and rejected from all form of welfare.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Those who don’t or won’t work will die.

      Those who do work will die.

      How do you decide who’s a deadbeat?

      Some poor schmuck who barely earns minimum wage or some heir who “clips coupon“.

      I’d consider the latter to be a deadbeat, but he’s got healthcare and can afford to eat good food.

      • Cheney's Lawyer says:

        Some deadbeats are blatant and cannot be denied. Take for example The so-called Boston bomber Bros. Who were living off of welfare for 10 years.

        “The family of the Boston bombing suspects has received more than $100,000 in welfare benefits over the last decade, according to the Boston Herald. ”

        “How do you decide who’s a deadbeat?”

        I’ve decided that they are deadbeats.

        • msbpodcast says:

          Who were living off of welfare for 10 years.

          That’s gratitude for you…

          They we’rent deadbeats, they were killer beats.

  3. So What? says:

    What, my rates will go up under Obama care? That is so different that what happens now, currently they only go up in the fall of the year. Oh wait.

    • dusanmal says:

      Statistics and damn’ statistics, but since late 1990’s similar plans at my and my wife’s workplace went up, yearly in the range of few percent (few as in less than digits on one hand, 2, 3,4 %). Than came passage of Obamacare. The very first year appearance was “similar”: 5% up. Next year 55% up! Next year, not only further 25% up but, (not-as-promised “you can keep your plan and doctor”): ordinary plans disappeared, replaced by Progressive designed plans forcing behaviors for rewards (Pavlov’s dog applied). Forced to change not only the plan but the type of healthcare plan and consequently lost family doctor of decade+ because he won’t participate in such scams. Both my and my wife’s workplaces (which do not share anything in common, totally different industries) did the same bait-and-switch. In both cases offering less, with hoops participant is forced to jump through – for more.

  4. god says:

    Imagine how much more of this Herbert Hoover-level crap we’d have to hear if the TeaPublicans ever nominated Steve Forbes for president.

    Cripes, months and months of spooky economics.

  5. deegee says:

    Y’all need to face the facts: the US of A is over with, it is just circling the drain on its way down the sewer pipes, and nothing the voting public can do will fix it.
    Y’all are just there to serve the 1%’ers.
    My recommendation: start stocking up on non-perishables, medical supplies, food, …

    • bobbo, in Repose says:

      Two good articles dispatching the OP. Thank You.

      It is complex–a target rich environment for fools and knaves willing to lie to keep the half wits in line. You have to know and pick your oranges and apples very closely to make any analysis at all.

      It make sense to me that Obamacare “should” lower the premiums “overall” because the group that is going to pay x100 times the previous premium is all the young uncovereds who in fact don’t need insurance because they aren’t going to get sick. People like me. In my life, the only healthcare I’ve needed is aspirin for hangover cures and MORPHINE for 4 hours while I passed kidney stones. $2000 covered by insurance but I could have easily paid it. I am not your average healthcare consumer.

      Until you add in the massive fraud that takes place, MediCare overhead is around 4% while Private Insurance overhead is around 25%-30% (think advertising, executive bonuses, and review panels denying care). Thats a lot of money going to waste. Exactly the nest egg that any reform can use to reduce cost and extend coverage.

      Dare to be great: do something new.

      • MikeN says:

        LOL, insurance company profits are a drop in the bucket of Medicare budgets, and you think those ‘savings’ will lower costs.

        • bobbo, in Repose says:

          Do you have the actual numbers…. or just the vague BS (bald statements) aka lies and spin.

          I used to have the numbers handy, years ago. It all depends on what you call, how you define, “overhead” across the various elements of the healthcare pie/cess pool.

          Consolidation could not avoid saving money. As always, how much and from where etc are for those who want to dither.

      • Mr Diesel says:

        139 kidney stones later and I think Morphine is the BOMB!!

        I’ve taken codeine for pain like it was PEZ but Morphine, ummm, ummm, ummm it is so gooood.

        Fortunately I do not have a drug addiction personality AND I can pass up to and including a 3/8 inch stone in either side now so it saves me about $2,000 a pop in medical bills.

        No hospital visit, no surgeries or lithotripters anymore (knock on wood).

    • MikeN says:

      That first link is really struggling to defend ObamaCare.
      So an insurance company dropped California’s exchanges because they decided the premiums and profits weren’t high enough? That means in reality they are choosing to charge less money, as even the author of this rescue piece admits rates are going up. Plus I’m not sure where he’s getting his facts about ehealth, as the site seems to offer lots of plans of the types he claims they don’t offer.

      Your second link is Nobel Prize winner and formerly reasonable columnist Paul Krugman being a political hack as usual. “If you’re not healthy or wealthy enough to get by with this kind of insurance, too bad.”
      Boy, Dallas told us liberals don’t think like that.

  6. bobbo, in Repose says:

    “But, given the fact that the government will be running the system, compels me to be….well just a bit skeptical.” /// The government got involved in 1966 by passing MediCare because the private system did not treat so many people that the general consensus was the private sector had failed. The great evil committed at that time was linking healthcare/retirement benefits to employment. That was done to help the unions. then the actual cost of healthcare started multiplying as controls were not/still aren’t put in place while technology increased greatly while the population aged.

    In other words: lots of variables.

    I’ve been against Obamacare from the start. It doesn’t do whats necessary which is to structure a single payer issue. The basic evil being keeping for profit medicine alive including the docs and the Insurance Co’s. Its “nice” to those entities which only drives up the cost. When I first got into healthcare, it was 12% of GDP. Its 16% now and still growing. Europe averages 8% or less I think. I don’t really know Europe except it is not a system as each country is different with the saving grace that everyone is covered and has the peace of mind they don’t need to worry about getting sick. Wait times? Always a buggaboo. Compare that to 40 Million Americans only getting emergency care after veriable wait times/denials in the ER. Biggest cause of personal bankruptcy in the USA–catastrophic healthcare. Biggest reason people stay in jobs they don’t like: to keep healthcare coverage.

    There is lots, if not too much to fix. Obamacare is “good” for a few of the changes but bad in that it basically maintains our unaffordable and mis-incentivized system. Its saving grace is it broke the for profit insurance driven employer based egg. No omelet is on the menu as yet.

    Change is good. We need more—asap.

    • Sea Lawyer says:

      ” The basic evil being keeping for profit medicine alive including the docs … …”

      The guy who changes the oil in my car works to maximize his income, as do almost every other working professional; and yet, you feel that doctors should be above personal gain. Aren’t you special… too bad the world doesn’t look like your personal land of fanatasy.

      “Biggest cause of personal bankruptcy in the USA–catastrophic healthcare. Biggest reason people stay in jobs they don’t like: to keep healthcare coverage.”

      If health insurance was only about catastophic care, as are all other forms of “insurance,” then health insurance would be a lot cheaper. But instead, we have a (now ever more) one size fits all healthcare payment system mandated from on high. Hiding the cost of routine services from the consumer through insurance programs can explain a significant portion of the runaway costs throughout the healthcare system; either because of over-treatment/testing, or because the insurance model allows for overcharging of services.

  7. bobbo, in Repose says:

    Coincidentally, right on target:

    Whats amusing is the notion that colonoscopies aren’t needed at all if the doc/aide would take a better history and physical (lab tests) and give the patient a judicious choice.

    Given my perfect health, I refused all colonoscopies as not needed as I was symptom free with no family history. Only got one when required by job. I was more concerned about injury from the procedure itself (rare) than any surprise results. Even the docs know it is just a money maker. Very little is ever found: “It establishes a base line.”—-aka===its a fraudulent money making procedure for the docs.

    Wise up.

    • jpfitz says:

      bobbo, just take your Metamucil and come back in a few years for another colonoscopy, jk. I too was very concerned of the possibility of a tear then walking around with a shitbag attached to my body. Still haven’t had one cause I keep putting the visit off.

      • bobbo, in Repose says:

        Yep. I do need “more bulk” as there just isn’t that much in beer. Hmmmmm…. now THERE is a Million dollar Idea: Bulk Beer: “Its Shitting Good!”

        ha, ha… but I dither.

        Most positive indicator of a colon cyst: blood in the stool. Can be caught by lab testing months before you can see it in the stool IF you can even recognize it. Thats old tech. Should be more modern lab tests of even greater specificity.

        Problem remains the same: docs get almost no money (by their standards) to take the time to get and explain an adequate laboratory panel. Why do that when you can “earn” $5000 for a 30 minute office procedure?

        All your healthcare are belong to us.

        • jpfitz says:

          Our family dr had a laptop on a tall table at my last BP visit. I could plainly see the screen and recognized my med history, since when is all your life laid out for all to see. I no like “us”.

          • bobbo, in Repose says:

            jp==sounds like you have a good GP. Much better than going to one for an annual physical and he doesn’t know you from a total walk-in stranger. Its called “continuity” and good care–not doing tests for what is already in your records. Even an “expert” like Kaiser will drive you crazy with their lack of organized central control over your info.

            Upset your doc knows your medical history huh? Thats a very high standard of anonymity. Why do you go to a doc at all? You are starting to sound like a snake handler to me.

          • MikeN says:

            Since the passage of ObamaCare, which has pushed for electronic health records. This simultaneously had the effect of turning the highest paid worker into a secretary, and has led to more use of templates and the doctors adding even more recommendations.

  8. ECA says:

    Lets see…
    1. where did they get the facts for the BASIS, of their stats?
    2. Under OB care..I dont think you can be CUT from service, if you paid.
    3. this is INDIVIDUAL PAYERS..not corps paying for GROUP POLICES..
    4. Ins. Corps RAISING prices, to cover themselves, as they change from 2-3-4 LEVELS of insurance corps, to a single Tier system.
    5. deductibles?
    6. restrictions and limitations on the NEW MEDICAL..I dont think there are any..If you get Cancer, they CANT CUT YOU OFF.
    IF you cant WORK, they cant DROP just drop to another TIER and everything gets PAID for, as you are NOW POOR.

  9. flatwombat says:

    Might want to look at the article’s creator:

    ” I served as a health care policy advisor to Mitt Romney. ”

    Yep, unbiased opinion, for sure. This is only one in a long string of articles attacking Obamacare. Might be right, might be wrong, but I’m sure not taking only his word for it.

  10. Mextli says:

    Jan 1, 2014 one step closer to the worker’s paradise.

  11. MikeN says:

    By the way, the defenders are defending on only one point of ObamaCare. Many of the people whose premiums will go up, will just not buy insurance, raising the exchange rates even more.

    There is still the problem of people losing their employer coverage, or getting weaker coverage. Then there is people who are now having to work less hours so that the business can deal with ObamaCare. That is a discussion going on right now at one company owned by family members. A few hundred people could see less pay because of ObamaCare. I guess they can get another part time job somewhere else. Indeed, this same company is actually multiple companies operating multiple locations, so one possibility is to shuttle people between two places, so they are not getting a loss of pay, just many of the others.

  12. orchidcup says:

    ObamaCare is a smokescreen for the insurance industry to further screw the average person with a mandate from the government.

    How many people live in states where auto liability insurance is mandated by their state? Did your premiums go down? Are there fewer uninsured cars?

    In Texas, we still have 20% uninsured drivers even though the law requires minimum auto liability insurance for auto registration or state inspection.

    When my single payer health insurance exceeded $800.00 per month for my wife and I, we were forced to go without, like most people did before the 1950’s.

    • MikeN says:

      Yes, going without health insurance is probably the best option for millions of people, given the high cost.

  13. Grandpa says:

    Try it. If it sucks, we’ll change it.

  14. Mr Diesel says:

    Oh it is going to suck. Where I work they have been slowly screwing us in anticipation of Obomba Care.

    The cool thing is that it hits in a mid-term election year and I really do believe that it will cost the Democrats seats in both houses.

    It couldn’t happen to a better bunch of low-life scum sucking vermin.

    • bobbo, in Repose says:

      Are you describing your group at work or just who?

      Yeap. Blame Obama because other people blame Obama to screw you over. Even being somewhat self aware doesn’t help the stupidity.

      Gee Mr D…. I know quite a few forums where that language would get you banned……… and if you replied here: “So What?”…. I could only agree heartily.

      Being relevant is like that.

      • Mr Diesel says:

        I guess it could be coincidence that the screwing (sorry Dallas) started immediately after Obomba Care passed.

        I’m expecting them to drop us completely and force us into the government plan.

        Yippee, rationing.

      • deowll says:

        So you think it’s unfair to blame a bunch of lack wits that voted for a bill they’d never read when it turns out the thing is a total mess and is going make their lives a lot less pleasant?

        • Sam says:


          Will people in Congress (like Pelosi) be adversely affected by Obamacare?

          Do they have skin in the game?

  15. Dallas says:

    “Oh it is going to suck. Where I work they have been slowly screwing us..”

    Too much information

  16. Mextli says:

    The way the dumbos keep trying to put lipstick on this pig they will need a paint roller.

    Democrats’ New Argument: It’s A Good Thing That Obamacare Doubles Individual Health Insurance Premiums.

    • LibertyLover says:

      Quite a few of us told them this would happen.

      We didn’t warn them. We didn’t threaten them.

      We told them.

      It was fact then. It’s a fact now.

      You cannot subsidize something and make it cheaper. It has never worked, and it never will.

      When you subsidize something, the price automatically increases by amount of the subsidization. It is one of the basic laws of economics.

  17. MikeN says:

    My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less,

  18. Greg Allen says:

    $141 a month dollars for healthcare? Seriously?

    That must be one crappola policy.

    Probably, the reason the ACA policy costs more is because it actually pays for stuff.

    • MikeN says:

      Yes, that’s the ticket! You are paying more because Obama is delivering you better quality! Now pay up!

  19. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    In Florida, the state department of insurance regulation will not regulate the costs of health insurance premiums for two years on policies written after 2010. Florida wants the federal government to do it.

    • MikeN says:

      Better would be if they stopped regulating insurance policies, what they must cover and what they must not cover. Allow HSAs with high deductibles and no rules on how much of premiums must be spent on care.

      This would lower health care costs overall.


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