Another Year of Obamacare “Sticker Shock”

Mark Horne wrote back in May that news reports of “sticker shock” should sound familiar.

Why so familiar? Well, one of my headlines from December 24, 2013, mentions Obamacare sticker shock. That was referring to the deductibles. I also linked a late October post of mine that pointed to an NBC News story saying that Obamacare sticker shock was hitting those shopping for the new insurance. The next day Bob Allen posted about Obamacare sticker shock and included this video:

[See also, “‘How Are We Supposed To Live?’ Michigan Workers Discover Obamacare Means Impoverishment.”]

The point here is that from 2013 to now looking ahead to 2016 we are still hearing about Obamacare sticker shock. Here’s another story from March 2014, for example. Just go to Google News and search for “Obamacare” and “sticker shock” and see the stories through the years.

Now, predictably, we get a headline from Newser.com: “ObamaCare Users Get Sticker Shock.” It relays a New York Times story, “Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless.”

Obama administration officials, urging people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, have trumpeted the low premiums available on the law’s new marketplaces.

But for many consumers, the sticker shock is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick: sky-high deductibles that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage.

“The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor,” said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain. “We have insurance, but can’t afford to use it.”

In many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through HealthCare.gov, the federal online marketplace, have a deductible of $3,000 or more, a New York Times review has found. Those deductibles are causing concern among Democrats — and some Republican detractors of the health law, who once pushed high-deductible health plans in the belief that consumers would be more cost-conscious if they had more of a financial stake or skin in the game.

“We could not afford the deductible,” said Kevin Fanning, 59, who lives in North Texas, near Wichita Falls. “Basically I was paying for insurance I could not afford to use.”

He dropped his policy.

The only problem with this story is the rates are not as low as they say. Nothing about this is “affordable.”