324% Increase. The New “Affordable”
Just the headline alone sent Californians into sticker shock. Last spring, news broke that those in the Golden State’s individual market would have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for healthcare coverage as premiums would more than double. 
“Obama’s healthcare reform will increase individual-market premiums by as much as 146 percent in California, despite state officials’ claim that it would lower them.
New data shows that premium rates would only decrease for small employer plans, but that the rates charged to individuals will increase, according to Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the state’s new health insurance exchange.
State officials last week boasted that its version of Obamacare would serve as a “home run for consumers in every region of California,” Lee explained. But the numbers generate a different narrative – one that depicts the flaws of the Affordable Care Act.”
For Tim, the outcome was even more brutal. Since 2012, he has seen his premiums jump 324%, and that is only to maintain his current benefits. The California resident admitted, “I can no longer afford medical insurance.”
“When Obamacare was passed my rates were raised from just over $500 a month to more than $700. This last July, because of the impending Obamacare my rates were raised another $900 a month to $1,620 [with] no change or increase in benefits,” shared Tim.
In a letter he received from Kaiser, they confirmed what the media was already reporting – the steep price hike was a result of the new healthcare law, or as Tim sarcastically said, “Affordable care.”
With his healthcare costs more than tripling, Tim had no choice but to start withdrawing from Social Security to get Medicare. It was the only option available for the struggling senior, who confessed that he was falling behind on his insurance payments.
“The only way I could [financially] do it was to get out of it,” he explained. “I got Social Security. Then, I got Medicare C and B, and my insurance rates dropped to $74. I’ve just done this, so I haven’t gotten my new bill yet. Hopefully, February is my last month of a payment at that rate. If I were younger, I would be in a lot of trouble.”
The fiercely independent Californian is not happy about having to resort to Medicare. However, the law that promised lower premiums – or at least premiums they could afford in the past – failed to deliver.
“The reason I did not have Social Security before is because I was going to wait until I was older. I did not want Medicare, but I was forced into it,” noted Tim. “It’s just an astronomical amount of money to have to come up with when the economy stinks.”
“When I was young, we had affordable healthcare. I’m a country boy. My father was a farmer. When anyone got sick, we would call the doctor, and he would come over. Farmers aren’t normally rich. Back then, it was affordable, and now it is not. You can thank our government for making it unaffordable and the entire legislative body, who chose to pass the disaster ‘just so they could see what’s in it.’”
- 1- Obamacare to Increase Healthcare Premiums in California Up to 146 Percent. RT.com 31 May 2013.