According to a recent CNN Money comparison, under the most popular Obamacare plan, which is the “silver level”, consumers will pay more for their deductibles, copayments and prescription drugs then they will with the typical employer policy.
The comparison was based on reports from both the Health Research & Education Trust and Kaiser Family Foundation that were released recently, which looked at employer plans from 2014 and similar policies that are being offered on the Obamacare exchange for this year, 2015.
President Obama’s program reduces deductibles and co-pays by offering cost-sharing subsidies for Americans with low income, and also mandates that preventative services like wellness exams and screenings are fully covered by insurers for free. Also, having the president’s plan in place is certainly better than being uninsured. Still, the cost for the average consumer is higher, and in some cases much higher.
For example, even while deductibles under Obamacare have fallen, at an average of $3453 for someone on the silver plan, as opposed to $1217 for a typical employer plan, the latter is more than double. in fact, many consumers have complained that they not only have to pay higher monthly premiums but also much higher deductible costs before they get any insurance money to cover their healthcare costs.
When it comes to co-pays, the amount of money that a person has to pay even when they have insurance, Obamacare is also higher. For example, enrollees in the silver plan pay, on average, 26% of the total charges when they see their primary doctor. For consumers with job-based insurance however, it’s only 18% of the total charge and, for specialist visits, 19%.
Interestingly, when it comes to prescription meds, employee sponsored programs and Obamacare are almost the same for generic drugs but, when it comes to brand-name pharmaceuticals, the latter is once again higher by over 50%.
Finally, the annual maximum for out-of-pocket costs that an individual will pay with an employer, on average just over $3000, is almost 50% less than what the same person will pay with the silver plan in Obamacare, just over $5800.
In the end, consumers are paying more for any type of health insurance they own but, when it comes to Obamacare, they’re paying quite a bit more. Meaning that, if your lucky enough to have insurance benefits from your employer, you should count your lucky stars.