SOURCE: HealthPocket

HealthPocket

October 26, 2016 09:00 ET

Aging Consumers without Subsidies Hit Hardest by Obamacare Premium & Deductible Spikes

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 26, 2016) - Given the government's release of premium and deductible data for 2017 Obamacare plans, HealthPocket examined the pending insurance landscape for consumers who will not be protected from cost increases by premium and cost-sharing subsidies. Earlier research by HealthPocket estimates the unsubsidized market for private insurance comprises 28 to 33 million people when including populations such as people in the "Medicaid gap," people with incomes above subsidy level, and people without legal residence in the U.S.

With respect to nationwide averages for premiums, HealthPocket found that:

  • 2017 bronze plans were 21 percent more expensive than in 2016
  • 2017 silver plans were 17 percent more expensive than in 2016
  • 2017 gold plans were 22 percent more expensive than in 2016
  • 2017 bronze plans were 15 percent more expensive than in 2016

The average deductible amount for Obamacare plans increased as well with the average bronze plan deductible exceeding $6,000 for an individual and $12,000 for a family in 2017.

HealthPocket found that the percentage of monthly income needed to pay the average unsubsidized Obamacare premium can present considerable financial challenges to older adults. For example, when examining an individual who makes $48,000 annually (just above the $47,520 cut-off for individual premium subsidy eligibility in 2017) 60 year-olds would need to spend 22% of their income to afford the average silver plan premium. 30 year-olds, in comparison, would only need to spend 9% of their monthly income on the average silver plan premium.

Deductible affordability is also a concern alongside premium affordability. A recent Bankrate survey found that only 37% of Americans had $500 to $1,000 in savings to cover an unexpected emergency bill. Against that fiscal reality, the average bronze plan deductible of $6,092 and silver plan deductible of $3,572 blur the lines between being insured and uninsured.

The full findings as well as the report methodology can be reviewed at "Aging Consumers without Subsidies Hit Hardest by 2017 Obamacare Premium & Deductible Spikes."

HealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans, helping individuals, families, and small businesses to make their best health plan decisions. HealthPocket publishes health insurance market analyses and other consumer advocacy research. HealthPocket's research is nonpartisan and uses only objective data from government, non-profit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. HealthPocket, Inc. is independently managed and based in Mountain View, California. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com.

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