Another pain in the neck in a complicated world
I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that people are really going to hate this about Obamacare:
Even people who receive federal financial help may face large premium increases if they simply re-enroll in the same plan in 2015, since in many cases the lower-cost plans in 2015 will no longer be among the low-cost offerings next year. This is because people receiving tax credits must pay the full difference in premium between the plan they choose and the second-lowest-cost silver plan in their area. In 12 of the 16 cities, at least one of the insurers that had offered one of the two lowest-cost silver plans in 2014 is no longer offering a low-cost silver plan in 2015.
“Consumers should go into the open enrollment period prepared to shop for the best deal all over again,” said Kaiser Senior Vice President Larry Levitt, co-executive director of the Foundation’s Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance. “You could end up paying more if your insurer is no longer offering one of the low-cost plans, so you should look carefully at your options.”
For bronze-level plans, which cover about 60 percent of enrollees’ health expenses on average, the analysis finds that the premium for the lowest-cost bronze option across the marketplaces is increasing an average of 3.3 percent in 2015. Here again changes vary across areas, from a decline of 15.7 percent in the premium (to $196 per month) for the lowest-cost bronze plan available in Hartford, Conn., to a premium increase of 13.3 percent (to $165 per month) for such a plan in Baltimore. Bronze plans are the least expensive option someone can choose to satisfy the ACA’s requirement to have coverage.
So apparently, people in the private insurance market are probably going to have to "shop" every year for new insurance and in all likelihood change doctors and all the rest over and over again if they hope to keep their costs down.
It's exhausting just thinking about it.
And we haven't even begun to deal with the problem of people estimating their subsidies based on last year's income only to discover they made more money than they realized and having to pay back some huge amount to the government at the end of the year.
I guess we'll all adjust. But man, it's a pain in the ass.