ACA Raised Premium Costs, Eliminated Larger Deductibles, GAO Says
Although the Affordable Care Act has raised annual premium costs for many health plans now sold on the individual market, the law has eliminated some of the largest deductibles that were included in plans before the ACA took effect, according to a newly released report from the Government Accountability Office, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Under the law, the annual deductible for an average individual health plan is capped at $6,350, while the annual deductible for a family plan cannot exceed $12,700. According to the AP/Chronicle, the GAO report provides comparisons between specific plans sold in states before and after the ACA.
So for example, the lowest-priced plan in the Illinois insurance market for an average 55-year-old Chicago couple last year cost about $4,000 annually in premiums and had an annual deductible of $30,000. However, that couple now would pay about $6,400 in annual premiums, but with an annual deductible of $12,700, based on information available on HealthCare.gov.
Meanwhile, a medium-priced plan for a family of four in Chicago -- with two 40-year-old parents -- last year would cost about $9,000 annually in premiums and would have a $3,500 annual deductible. This year, the family would pay about the same in premiums with a $10,000 deductible. However, their plan also would provide several no-cost preventive services, and they could be eligible for tax credits that would help reduce their out-of-pocket costs (Johnson, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 12/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.