Skimpiest Obamacare Premiums Soar 35 Percent In DC

Obamacare collage: Getty Images/Jewel Samad, Getty Images/Joe Raedle

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Health care premiums for the skimpiest Obamacare plans in the District of Columbia are skyrocketing in 2018, according to copies The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained of a D.C. resident’s monthly premiums for an Obamacare “Bronze” plan.

Daniel Turner, a single healthy guy in Washington, D.C., with no dependents on his health care plan, was shocked to see that his monthly premiums for his “Bronze” plan increased $97.07, or 35.91 percent, in 2018. Turner was paying $270.17 a month in premiums during 2017, but his insurance provider is now asking for him to cough up $367.18 a month for the exact same plan.

Turner chose to go with his new employer’s insurance coverage, but was still astounded to see such exorbitant rate increases on the part of insurance companies in just one year.

Bronze plans offer consumers the lowest monthly premiums, but are coupled with the highest deductibles — the amount a person has to pay out-of-pocket before their insurance provider pays a dime. Consumers with these plans have roughly $6,000 deductibles. That means Turner, in addition to paying over $360 in premiums, would have to spend up to $6,000 before his provider begins to cover any costs.

Most plans will help cover the cost of doctors visits, prescription drugs and some other minor care services, but consumers have to meet the cost of their deductible to accrue the full benefits of their insurance package.

Younger, healthier people tend to lean towards bronze plans, since they are less likely to have serious, chronic health needs that would force them to seek medical treatment often. These consumers typically only go to the doctor for routine health care needs, like a check-up or treatment for a minor illness.

Turner’s case is not an outlier, but rather the norm for consumers who get insurance from the Obamacare marketplace.

Premiums for the most widely used Obamacare plans, known as “Silver” plans on the state exchanges, are expected to rise an average of 34 percent in this year.

House and Senate Republicans spent 2017 repeatedly trying to overhaul Obamacare, former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, but failed to successfully pass a repeal bill in the upper chamber. The party is not prioritizing an Obamacare repeal in 2018, according to Senate leadership, opting to push for policy areas that are likely to get bipartisan support in Congress, like infrastructure.

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