Sticker Shock: The True Cost of Obamacare in 2017

October 24 marked the preview of 2017 Obamacare plans, with many citizens suffering sticker shock at the significantly higher prices. Thirty-nine states are served by the marketplace, and the average price hike of a whopping 25 percent has many fighting mad. States like Arizona will see the highest increases at  a staggering 116 percent. For example, a person in his/her twenties who does not qualify for any financial aid will go from paying $196 per month on average to a stunning $422 per month for the same plan in 2017. Using the same example, New Hampshire stays virtually unchanged ($215 compared to $217), while Indiana prices drop ($235 to $229).

But most of the 39 states will experience double-digit percentage price hikes. Federal officials like HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell say that a huge majority (around 85%) of Obamacare customers qualify for financial aid, translating to greatly reduced monthly rates of $50 to $100. The typical consumer earns $19,000 individually or $40,000 for a family of four. So the guy in Arizona pays $422 while some other person pays $50. Most Americans are happy to supplement needy individuals, but paying four times the amount of others is a bit much. And if you think the costs are helped by more 2017 signups, you’re wrong–only 13.8 million people are expected to enroll in 2017, only 1.1 million more than last year.

No big surprise–higher prices are due to customers who cost more than had been projected. Duh. More sick people with pre-existing conditions have enrolled, and the reinsurance program that paid for really sick enrollees expires in 2016 and must be compensated for in 2017 Insurance companies finally have enough data to see that they cannot survive in the marketplace.  States like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Alabama, will have just one insurance company choice because providers like Aetna, Cigna and United Healthcare have pulled out of the marketplace. In fact, 20 percent of customers nationwide will only have one choice due to companies fleeing the market.

Fines are still in place in 2017–either 2.5 percent of household income or $695, whichever is higher.

Trump wants to replace Obamacare with the much more viable option of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and rather than a federal mandate, Trump wants to work with the states to reform Medicaid and ensure coverage for high risk individuals. Finally, Trump favors a competitive marketplace that allows insurance purchases across state lines.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that Obama’s promise to cut the family premium cost by $2,500 has instead resulted in a premium rise of almost $5,000. Maybe it’s time to vote your pocketbook and give Trump a chance. Obamacare has failed miserably and Hillary will follow suit. Even her own husband says Obamacare is a hot mess.