Affordable Health Plans Are an Endangered Species


by Michael Ramlet

Source: The Morning Consult

A new analysis from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) shows minimum wage and low income workers will face the greatest risks with those changes. Beginning in 2014, most U.S. residents will be required to have health insurance coverage. However, provisions of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) will limit the choice of health plans offered. Health insurance that does not cover preventive care, plans with deductibles above the statutory limit and plans that cap benefits at predetermined levels will ultimately disappear.

How Much Coverage Is Needed? Many public health advocates assume everyone needs comprehensive coverage. Yet, most people covered by health insurance actually experience very low claims - especially those under age 50. Consider:

  • - High medical spenders tend to be older individuals.
  • - Annual medical spending per capita does not approach $3,000 per year until around 50 years of age [see Figure I].
  • - In fact, 80 percent of the population consumes less than $3,220 annually in medical care [see Figure II].

Thus, a plan with modest benefits would meet the usual insurance needs of most Americans

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