The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has brought with it a litany of mandates that were created to make healthcare coverage more affordable and more accessible to every citizen in the United States. Before Obamacare, health insurance companies could deny coverage to anyone with a preexisting condition, charge higher premiums based on the status of health and gender, and set lifetime and annual limits to coverage.
Now those are all a thing of the past. The Affordable Care Act has helped millions find good coverage at reasonable rates while keeping useful government programs in place to insure low-income families and individuals.
Despite all of the changes that have been made as a result of Obamacare, there have been some instances where insurance rates have increased. Much of these rising premiums took place leading up to 2015, in the five years after the Affordable Care Act was signed, enacted, and implemented.
Since that time however, the rise in premiums has leveled and overall healthcare spending has actually tapered off for the first time in over ten years, in some cases. This proves that Obamacare is working in the manner it was intended.
The Reasons Behind the Rise
If the Affordable Care Act was supposed to make insurance less expensive for Americans, then why have the insurance premiums been increased instead of decreased? This has been the single most contentious facet of Obamacare, but it’s by no means the only point of controversy surrounding the new law.
Yes, it’s true that premiums did increase and the reasons were borne from the very purposes behind the Affordable Care Act. Since the new protections outlawed denial of coverage and charging prices based on around one’s health and gender, the companies began to bring up their premiums because they had to take on high-risk clients.
These increases started to take effect between the years of 2010-2015 and some parts of the country were subject to higher increases than others as a result of Obamacare. Insured individuals and families who were covered under so-called “high end” policies were also forced to pay higher costs despite being part of these exclusive groups as a result of their good health.
However, these increases were probably to be expected as a knee-jerk reaction to the implementation of the law. In the six years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the spike in costs has stopped fluctuating and future projections have those costs remaining stable. In other words, the increases have reached their peak levels for the time being.
Opponents of the law cite these increases as a major function as to why Obamacare isn’t working. However, if you look closer at these rising costs you’ll find that the increase wasn’t as significant as it sounds. In 2015, the rate of increase was about 4% while some parts of the country experienced a decrease in premiums before considering the price of subsidies. Every region and each family is different when it comes to healthcare costs.