One [person facing rate hikes] is George Schwab of Charlotte, who pays $228 a month for his family’s $10,000 deductible plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.In a Sept. 23 letter, Blue Cross notified him that his current plan doesn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act and suggested a comparable plan for $1,208 a month – $980 more than he now pays.Michael Hood, 46, who lives near Winston-Salem, is another of the Blue Cross customers who is suffering sticker shock after receiving a recent renewal letter… Their annual payment would rise from $14,000 to $24,000.
One policy analyst quoted in the piece states that the hike might not be as bad as the Blue Cross letters say, since there will be a variety of options to choose from on the exchange. But many people among several key demographics have compared their previous rates with the cheapest possible plan on the ACA exchanges and have found significant hikes.This same story is playing out in San Francisco. The San Jose Mercury News profiles, among others, Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura—both big Obama supporters—who were shocked that their rates will go up because of the ACA’s requirements (annual increases of $1,800 and $10,000, respectively). They are not alone in the Golden State:
In California, 1.9 million people buy plans on the open market, according to officials with Covered California, the state’s new health insurance exchange. And many of them are steaming mad.“There’s going to be a number of people surprised” by their bills, said Jonathan Wu, a co-founder of ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website.
A lot of wonks on the left see this as a feature, not a bug: it’s a good thing for the healthy, the young, and the wealthy to pay more to subsidize care for the sick, the old, and the poor. But even if that were completely true, there’s a big political problem here. From the beginning, President Obama told the nation that if you liked your plan or your doctor, you could keep them, and that Obamacare would just make coverage affordable for everyone.As more people realize that these statements were simply not true, this political tactic may be exposed as a huge mistake.