The unaffordable care act

eyeglasses and newspaper blue background

The Affordable Care Act’s second enrollment season is still two months away, but consumers should already be bracing for problems[1]. This time, however, the Obama Administration won’t be able to blame them on computer glitches.

For example, the administration has already set up automatic renewals for the 8 million Americans who signed up for Obamacare earlier this year. Yet that means those 8 million consumers will likely miss out on the ability to shop around for lower premiums and avoid Obamacare sticker shock this year.

Tens of millions of Americans who don’t have insurance will also be hit with tax penalties for the first time – unless they somehow get exemptions.

Then there’s the bureaucratic nightmare of trying to verify income for subsidies. Most enrollees received tax credits to help with insurance premiums. But all those consumers have to refile tax forms and prove they got the right amount of subsidies. If their incomes went up since they last filed, they’ll owe the government money – and vice versa.

But those are just enrollment problems. There’s also the hundreds of thousands of Americans[2] whose insurance policies are slated to be killed in the next several months, as well as skyrocketing premiums. A recent McKinsey report found[3] that premiums for the lowest-price Silver plan in the Affordable Care Act, will increase eight percent in 2015. Obamacare’s subsidies may temporarily be softening the blow of Obamacare sticker shock, but that won’t last forever.

Still, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous problems inherent in the Affordable Care Act, which, as it turns out, isn’t all that affordable. But then again, a government overhaul of a massive industry usually isn’t.