Coming Soon, Affordable Health Insurance Premiums for Families and Businesses
Between 1999 and 2009, health insurance premiums for families more than doubled, rising by over $7500 on average. The higher costs of health care made it difficult for many small businesses to offer affordable health insurance to their workers, so the percentage of those employers offering insurance dropped from 65 to 59 percent in the same time frame. However, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius says with healthcare reform families will have more choices by 2014 that will include lower insurance premiums.
Family Health Insurance Premiums and Out of Pocket Costs Will Decrease and be More AFfordable
Sebelius announced the release of a new report entitled “Health Insurance Premiums: Past High Costs Will Become the Present and Future Without Health Reform.” While many are concerned that the new healthcare reform bill threatens our constitutional rights, without such a law the average middle-class family purchasing private insurance will spend about $2300 more than if they used the new State-based Health Insurance Exchanges.
She states that under the Affordable Health Care Act, a low-income family of four could save up to $14,900 in premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Healthcare reform will also positively impact small businesses. Tax credits can save companies $6 billion over two years. In the next three years, states Sebelius, a small business could save up to $250 per family policy and many may be eligible for tax credits of up to 50% of their premiums. By 2019, businesses could see lower premiums of up to $2000 per family.
Businesses are also being offered financial relief for retirees through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.
The report outlines several of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will help create these savings, including provisions to increase transparency in the health insurance marketplace. In 2011, most health insurance companies will be required to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements, rather than overhead and administrative costs.
“For too long, skyrocketing health care costs have made it hard for businesses to provide coverage for employees and have made it difficult for families to afford coverage,” said Sebelius. “The Affordable Care Act is providing families and businesses with more freedom, choices, and savings in their health care coverage. Without the Affordable Care Act, consumers and businesses would face higher premiums, fewer insurance choices, and rapidly rising health care costs.”