I don’t think Sen. Chris Murphy has a clue as to how expensive health insurance is for people who do not get a subsidy. As a self-employed, married parent with two children, I have to purchase my own health insurance coverage each year for my family. Every year the cost goes up 10% to 20%.
This year it was a 20% increase and my best option for premiums is $1,923 per month for the lowest level “Bronze” plan. This plan has a deductible of $13,000 and a maximum out-of-pocket of $16,300. So, if I NEVER need to use my health insurance I will pay my insurer over $23,0000. And If I do need to use it for a serious medical issue I may end up paying out $50,000.
Sen. Murphy likely has a “Gold” plan as a government employee. If I wanted one of those my full cost could reach $70,000 per year.
So, the unfortunate result of providing subsidized health insurance to the uninsured has caused a tremendous increase in the cost for the middle class. I know of self-employed people who are not buying insurance because the prices have gone up too much. Even those who have health coverage from their employer are getting more and more money taken out of their paycheck to cover that that cost.
I don’t know what the answer to this issue is, but I think of two possibilities:
- Open up the market place to more competition in order to bring costs down. Hartford was once nicknamed “The Insurance Capital of the World” yet presently our state has just 2 health insurance providers (Connecticare & Anthem/Blue Cross) to choose from for individual health insurance plans. Many other states have far more options and far lower costs. So allowing purchase of insurance across state lines might help.
- Allow Self-employed people to group together to get better rates.
Murphy may be right in stating that the ACA is a “game changer,” he just doesn’t realize who it’s affecting the most.
Bill Dineen is a freelance software designer.