Reform May Result in Higher Health Insurance Premiums
President Barack Obama fulfilled his promise to reform the nation's healthcare system and make health insurance affordable on March 23, 2010, when he signed the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) into law. Proponents of the law applauded the reform, based on the assumption that many formerly uninsured Americans would be given the opportunity to obtain health insurance coverage.
Obama predicted at the time, that the average family would save $2,500 in yearly premiums. This amount was later refuted by the Congressional Budget office, which predicted a yearly health insurance premium increase of $2,300.
The New York Times reported that beginning in 2016, individual health insurance premiums will have increased by 10-13 percent over what the estimated premiums would be without the reform. Small business owners have already seen their employee premiums increase up to 11% this year, and the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers believe the trend will continue, with insurance premiums continuing the climb by 11-20 percent in 2011.
These dire predictions are disputed by the proponents of the plan who believe that health care costs will be contained by educating Americans about health and wellness. They point out that subsidies for many people will offset the cost of the increases. Government-mandated state "exchanges," healthcare shopping places, are also expected to lower premium costs up to 4%, according to The Congressional Budget Office.
Small business owners are not convinced, and are bracing for the inevitable cost increases that they expect to pass on to their employees in order to keep their overhead manageable.
Subsidies are not expected to take place until 2014, and will not be available to those people covered under employment health insurance plans.
Higher premiums, or restricted care by way of health care rationing, may be inevitable in the United States. The U.K. is a step ahead of the U.S. in health care reform and is already experiencing deep cuts due to rising health care costs.