Will all the changes in the health care reform result in an increase in my health care premiums?


To be honest, this question has been subject to much debate. Some claim that the changes stipulated in the health care reform bill will drastically decrease health insurance premiums while others say that the changes will do exactly the opposite.

We, however, are of the opinion that with the cost-saving measures being implemented by the health care reform law, as well as other measures that will improve the people's access to insurance, the premiums will decrease, rather than increase.

This decrease in premiums will be felt more by those who are in the individual market, rather than those who are covered by employer-sponsored plans.

Here are some of the reasons why we say that the premiums will tend to decrease:

  • Tax credits and subsidies provided by the government. Those who are eligible can enjoy savings on their premiums since tax breaks are provided with the purpose of making insurance more affordable for you.
  • More benefits in a plan. If you factor in the cost of additional benefits (for the same amount of premiums), you will see that the effect would be a lower cost of insurance.  For Medicare plans, there are some additional benefits that don't require deductibles and co-payments, particularly for preventive care treatments.
  • Caps on costs added to premiums. Insurance companies are prevented from charging too much in overhead and administration expenses. In fact, insurance companies will be required to refund a portion of the premium if it is proven that they have overcharged on non-medical expenses. They will also be required to notify their policyholders if they increase the premiums, and they will have to justify this increase.
  • Increased competition. The bill will foster healthy competition among providers with the establishment of health insurance exchanges. This will help ensure that premiums are competitive and that the plans being offered are attractive.
  • Prohibition on pricing based on health status. Insurers will be prohibited from setting premiums based on your health condition. Instead, people of the same bracket or age will be paying the same premiums.
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