Sunday, November 15, 2015

Last Call For Deductible Deductions

Republicans are screaming about this New York Times article, the latest "proof" that "Obamacare has failed" and must be repealed before America is swallowed by lava bees or something.

In many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through, 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.

OH GOD WHAT HAVE WE DON...oh wait.  A lot of Bronze-level Obamacare plans are mostly catastrophic coverage plans with very low premiums and high deductibles.  They were designed that way...and that's why people who need to use their health insurance on occasion need Silver-level plans, as Kevin Drum points out.

The answer, for many low-income people, is to choose a silver plan. It's a little more expensive, but the terms of the insurance are far more generous. That's especially true if you take into account Cost Sharing Reduction, a feature of Obamacare that low-income families qualify for automatically but don't find out about until they're at the very end of the application process. It doesn't show up if you're just window shopping. However, as Andrew Sprung points out today, CSR changes the picture considerably.

But once again Republicans are screaming about health care features that they have pushed for decades: high-deductible catastrophic coverage plans for younger, healthier Americans. Obamacare gives a number of choices, and that's the entire point.

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