The intended purpose of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known by everyone and their dog as Obamacare, was to reduce the costs of health insurance and medical services. Many, especially those in the libertarian and conservative sector, believe the law will only increase insurance costs, due to the needs-not-be-spoken burden of government regulation. Recently, they cited a study done by the state of California, which they claim state that health insurance will go up 64-146%, depending on the type of person and coverage. That spooked a lot of people, though the claims has been shown to be inconsistent.
President Obama returning from Camp David. His signature law, Obamacare, may reduce health insurance costs, as is evident in New York. (Source: Reuters)
Now, a report coming out of the state of New York is suggesting the opposite of California, which is of course nothing new if history is of any suggestion about those two states. The state's insurance regulators released a report stating they have approved health insurance rates in 2014, when a significant number of Obamacare's major provisions will take effect, that were at least 40 to 50% less than what is currently being offered in the state this year, even at its highest tier, the so-called Platinum tier. The effects are pretty significant. To give an example of the actual rates, the average rate in Manhattan for Aetna, a well-known insurer across the country, is $1,409 for the individual, $4,366 for the family plan in 2013. In 2014, with Obamacare in place, the Platinum rate for the same company is $799 for the individual plan, $2,277 for the family plan, a little less than half, while the Gold rate is $688 and $1,961 respectively. Individuals just looking for basic coverage can receive even better savings, with the Bronze rate at Aetna at $513, and catastrophic coverage (for ER visits) at $370.
Granted, this information applies mainly to New York, and the variability of Obamacare's implementation in each state also varies the health insurance rate increase and decrease. Also, those numbers are still particularly high, though they are merely shown as examples, and there are definitely lower individual rates as shown in the official government document. So, it's still too soon to really say with absolute certainty whether health insurance costs will go down under Obamacare or not, though this is a sign of encouragement. On the other hand, there are still probably people who think Grandma is going to be killed by a socialist death panel, so the paranoia surrounding Obamacare will continue to sustain itself well into next year.