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OPINION - Two more Obamacare surprises

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOGS (WSAU)   Another day, and more little-known Obamacare details are coming.

Imaging you pick the Bronze Plan. (We found out yesterday that the Bronze Plan is only a 60-40 plan   where you have to cover 40% of your health care bills.)  Today we’re learned that you’ll have much higher co-payments to see a doctor. And you’ll have much higher out-of-pocket deductibles.

The average co-payment to see a doctor for a routine office visit is $22 now. Admittedly, that number is deceptive because there are some health care plans that have a zero co-payment. For the typical insuree who has a co-payment it’s closer to $35. Under the Bronze plan, co-payments will rise to an average of $65 for the states that have already released their cost-data. Many families will be surprised at having health insurance, and still having to pay that much just to get into the waiting room.

Now take a look at deductibles. The average deductible for people with insurance is $1,100. That number is also artificially low since there are many people in Medicaid programs (BadgerCare included) that have no deductibles. Under Obamacare the out-of-pocket deductible could be as high as $6,300. That’s a tremendously large amount for someone to have to spend, on top of the insurance premium they have to pay, before their health benefits kick in.

Here’s an unknown: we don’t know how many people will be triple-losers… who’ll pay more for their premiums, and pay more to see a doctor, and have higher deductibles. Those people, regardless of their politics or party, are going to be against Obamacare. Even if they support health coverage for everyone in theory, the won’t be willing to personally pay thousands of dollars to put it into practice.

This starts on October 1st. It’s one of those rare moments in politics where we see the light at the end of the tunnel and know, indeed, it’s an oncoming train.

Chris Conley
9.26.13