Friday, August 23, 2013

An Obamacare Worksheet

The Kaiser Family Foundation has an Obamacare Subsidy Calculator. One simply enters family size and composition and family income and voila! it returns the yearly cost of a "Silver" coverage plan for the family, including a breakdown of citizen and State contributions for the premium and maximum out of pocket costs. For example, for a citizen-family of four, two adults and two kids, with a yearly income of $70,000, the Silver Plan total yearly premium is $9869, with a citizen contribution of $6594, or 67% of the premium. The Silver Plan maximum yearly out of pocket cost for this traditional citizen household unit would be $12,700, and the average co-pay for medical costs is 30%.

The KFF also has produced a survey of employer health benefits. In 2013 the average employer-provided health insurance for a family had a yearly premium of $16,351, where the employer paid $11,786 of this premium while the employee paid the remaining $4565. The Michigan BCBS "One Blue" health comes close to this premium; it's actually about $3000 less. This plan has a $1000 deductible per year for the family, and a maximum yearly out of pocket cost of $11,000. The copay ranges from 20%-50% depending on the service provided.

Clearly the People's "Silver" Healthcare Plan has the smaller total premium. But so what? The Obamacare alternative would cost this family $2000 more in premium payments per year, has a $1700 higher out of pocket maximum, with a 30% copay.

How does Obamacare help this family with medical costs? The family's income does fall in the notorious "Top 40%", so perhaps it's only proper social justice policy that they pay more?