Rising Insurance Costs
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LISA ZAMOSKYWell, we've talked about some of the folks who are eligible to buy coverage in the exchanges and Medicaid. We've also received questions from a lot of people who are angry because they believe the Affordable Care Act is responsible for making their employer-sponsored plan more expensive. We got a note from Dan from Nevada who works for a large corporation. He writes, "Since your health care plan, my insurance costs have skyrocketed." Is Dan right to blame this on the Affordable Care Act?
BARACK OBAMANo, he's not. A lot of people have looked at this, and there's nothing in the Affordable Care Act that would impact an employer-sponsored plan other than making sure that the employer-sponsored plan is actually providing a certain basic level of coverage. Now, I don't know the particulars of his employer's plan, but what people forget is that the average premium was going up 15% a year before the Affordable Care Act.
Health care costs overall are actually going up more slowly over the last three years than any time in the last 50. And that's true in the private insurance sector. It's also true for Medicare and Medicaid. So what we actually know is that premiums are going up more slowly, not more quickly, than they were before this law was passed.
That doesn't mean that somebody might not still be frustrated when they see their particular plan or their costs going up. And what a lot of employers have been doing for quite some time is offloading more and more costs onto their employees in the form of higher deductibles or higher co-pays. But you know, one of the challenges of passing this law, which we knew would happen, would be that anything that isn't working well in the health care law or in health care generally can suddenly be blamed by somebody conveniently on the Affordable Care Act.
The fact of the matter is is that most private employers, their plans are unchanged. They're making decisions based on their own business decisions. They're not mandated to increase premiums for their employees.
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