Obamacare Expenses

Insurance prices up


Over the summer, as health insurers began to release their rates for plans sold through Obamacare's exchanges in 2016, it became clear that prices were set to rise, in some cases by as much as 30 percent. Tallies suggest that the average increase across Affordable Care Act–compliant plans is between 12 and 14 percent, depending on how it's calculated.

But Obamacare's customers won't just be paying more in monthly premiums next year. They'll also be paying more out of pocket, thanks to many plans' rising deductibles. In some states, a review by The New York Times found, more than half of the plans sold under the law for 2016 come with deductibles of $3,000 or more.

Deductibles and premiums are related; normally, insurers raise the former in order to keep the latter down. That both are rising at the same time is evidence that people buying plans through Obamacare are sicker and thus more expensive to cover than insurers generally expected.

The hikes are also a big part of why enrollment is expected to stagnate under the law this year: Even those who can afford insurance may not be able to afford the out-of-pocket cost of care once they are covered.