Top Five Ways the ACA Changed the Cost of Individual Health Insurance
In Wisconsin, the ACA has affected people in different ways.
Some people are no longer eligible for BadgerCare Plus. After the ACA was implemented, Wisconsin reduced BadgerCare eligibility levels for parents and childless adults. That means that some people who previously had BadgerCare Plus insurance now have to pay the cost of their own individual or family health insurance plans. Even though they can take advantage of subsidies to help pay for premiums, many still find that their out-of-pocket costs were higher than with BadgerCare.1
Subsidies became available. The ACA provides subsidies for those who meet the criteria. Many people found that for the first time, the cost of individual health insurance policies became affordable. Before the ACA, a half-million people were uninsured – in 2015, nearly 100,000 people got insurance for the first time through the Health Insurance Marketplace.2
Prescription drug prices have increased rapidly – by almost 10 percent in 2015.3 A lot of that cost has been passed on to consumers. About half of Americans take a prescription drug and a quarter of these say they have difficulty paying for those drugs.4 Fortunately, many individual health insurance plans are available that can help with the cost of drugs. Because people can no longer be turned down for health insurance due to preexisting conditions, they can shop for the plan that is right for them, taking into consideration their medication needs and other health concerns.
Because of the ACA, a limit is set to how much a person pays out-of-pocket each policy year. In 2016, that amount is $6,850 for an individual and $13,700 for family health insurance. This limit commonly includes deductibles, coinsurance and copayments for covered services. This protects people from the potentially ruinous cost of an extended hospital stay.
The type of insurance you can buy depends on your age. For example, in the past, people could buy catastrophic coverage at any time (this type of plan typically features low premiums and a very high deductible). Today, this type of lower cost individual health insurance plan is only available to those 30 and under or who meet certain criteria. Also, children can remain on their parent’s plan until age 26 (or older in certain circumstances). After that, they need to buy their own plan or pay a fee.
Today, the variety of health insurance plans on the market is very broad. Choosing the health insurance plan with the lowest cost can require some research on the individual plans available. If you have questions, just give our helpful and knowledgeable customer service representatives a call at 800.362.3310, or browse our wide range of plans.
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