Young Men Will Pay More under ObamaCare

May 23, 2013

The Obama administration says the Affordable Care Act will provide cheaper health insurance for millions of Americans. But some people, particularly young men who aren't insured through their employers, could see their premiums go up once coverage in the state-based insurance exchanges begins in January, says CNNMoney.

Here's what could affect a person's cost if they buy an individual plan through the exchanges.

Income:

  • Subsidies are available to those with incomes of up to 400 percent of the poverty line -- roughly $45,000 for an individual or $92,000 for a family of four.
  • Some 57 percent of enrollees will receive subsidies, and those subsidies will cover nearly two-thirds of the premium, on average, according to the Congressional Budget Office's estimates.

Age:

  • Older Americans, who tend to be sicker, will likely see their premiums go down, because they will now be mixed into a risk pool with younger, healthier people.
  • Also, ObamaCare limits the amount insurers can charge older enrollees to three times the amount charged for younger participants.

Gender:

  • Currently insurers can charge premiums based on gender. Men usually pay less than women, since they typically visit the doctor less frequently.
  • The Affordable Care Act, however, doesn't allow insurers to charge different rates to men and women.
  • Taken together, men ages 25 to 36 could see rate increases greater than 50 percent, but women of the same age will only see their premiums creep up 4 percent.
  • Meanwhile, men age 60 to 64 could see their premiums drop by 12 percent.

Coverage level:

  • The uninsured will see their coverage costs go up, of course, since they currently pay nothing.
  • And those who have high-deductible plans or catastrophic coverage, which only pays out in case of major illness or hospitalization, may see their premiums go up.

State of residence: Some states currently require some of the same protections as ObamaCare, which pushes up the cost of individual market coverage for residents today. Premiums could go down in those states, since more younger, healthier people are likely to join the market.

Source: Tami Luhby, "Who Will Pay More under ObamaCare? Young Men," CNNMoney, May 14, 2013.

 

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