Obamacare means that more than 50 percent of the counties in 34 states don't have affordable health insurance plans, meaning that they cost more than 8% of household income -- even the least expensive bronze plans. The prices are going up a lot. Some are getting at least some subsidy ($47,780 for an individual or $61,496 for a couple), but for those who don't get a subsidy those higher prices may mean a lot stop getting insurance. Some high population counties face real problems (Bergen County, N.J., and Philadelphia and Milwaukee counties). From USA Today:
. . . The number of people who earn close to the subsidy cutoff and are priced out of affordable coverage may be a small slice of the estimated 4.4 million people buying their own insurance and ineligible for subsidies. But the analysis clearly shows how the sticker shock hitting many in the middle class, including the self-employed and early retirees, isn't just a perception problem. The lack of counties with affordable plans means many middle-class people will either opt out of insurance or pay too much to buy it.
The prices of exchange plans have shocked many shoppers, especially those who had plans canceled because they did not meet the ACA coverage requirements. But experts are not surprised.
"The ACA was not designed to reduce costs or, the law's name notwithstanding, to make health insurance coverage affordable for the vast majority of Americans," says health care consultant Kip Piper, a former government and insurance industry official. "The law uses taxpayer dollars to lower costs for the low-income uninsured but it also increases costs overall and shifts costs within the marketplace." . . .