Individual Health Insurance Plans and the Affordable Care Act
In 2012, the average cost of an individual health care plan hovered right around $5,000 per year. For those paying this amount, be happy. The same year number for a family health insurance plan was right around $15,000 or three times what those insuring only a single individual have to pay.
Now, with what’s known around legislative circles as the Affordable Care Act set to begin rolling out in 2014, many have had hope that premiums charged by insurance companies and billings created by medical professionals would be brought under control.
In an article from Daniel Kessler entitled The Coming Obamacare Shock published by the Wall Street Journal, the speculation is that the whole Affordable Care Act is not only going to be tough to implement…it’s going to be tough to stomach for an American public that is looking for ways to decrease the amount of money spent on health care and add more to their bottom line.
If you’re one of the 19 million folks out there who has individual health care plans, the Affordable Care Act news doesn’t really get any better depending on whom you’re using as a source.
There is a long way yet to go to seeing a semi-finalized individual health insurance plans presented through the Affordable Care Act and all the negative publicity that‘s been swirling around may amount to nothing.
Now, here’s perhaps the silver lining that comes out of the article: it’s stated that of the 19 million with individual health care plans, only slightly over a third will be affected…somewhere around 6 million individuals.
So why would this be? Why would a government regulated health care system actually cost those looking for individual health care plans more than what they are currently paying for individual health care plans that are not government regulated?
The answer may lie in the fact that the current individual health care plans, when kept to a minimum of choice and service, can be fairly reasonable. With the Affordable Care Act, one of the biggest obstacles lies in the nuance of the programs, i.e., the governments desire to provide a lot of options above and beyond what most carries of individual health care plans currently have. This means, more choices of facilities and procedures that fall under the policy coverage…not just for individuals, but for families and small business as well.
There are ways to circumvent large increases in both individual health care plans and those for families and small business. As the rollout of the Affordable Care Act begins, tweaking of individual health care plan benefits may come up as the legislature and those at the highest levels of implementation begin to fine-tune some of the particulars.
Here’s something else to think about should you be one of those 19 million people who have individual health care plans. The IRS is currently in the process of factoring the rates of tax penalties assessed to those who choose to forgo the Affordable Care Act. So, while going without an individual health care plan may still be cheaper than having to pay what the Affordable Care Act is going to demand…you’ll also be going without health insurance.
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