Health Care Premiums Soar Under Obamacare

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

For Immediate Release
Commonwealth Foundation
Contact: Cindy Hamill
(856) 607-4208

Premiums Up by as Much as 314% Under Obamacare
One Local, Small Business is Example of Many Hit Hard

November 17, 2014, Harrisburg, Pa – The owners of Rosati Plumbing in Delaware County have provided health coverage for employees since 1952. Faced with new regulations under the Affordable Care Act, Regina Weinhardt was looking at an 80 percent increase in her employees’ premiums if she stayed with the current carrier.

"Our small business premium would have almost doubled," explained Weinhardt, "My father started his business and prided himself on offering healthcare. Now I feel like we are being punished for doing the right thing."

Forced to search for anther plan, Weinhardt was able to find a "deal" that will allow her to continue to pay her employees’ premiums with a 23% increase. More than 20 employees of Rosati plumbing have their own burdens as they face soaring deductibles. This year, their basic plan’s deductible doubled from $1,500 to $5,000 for an individual and $3,000 to $10,000 for a family.

Weinhardt struggles to make sense of it, "Most of my guys are young and single, they don’t need maternity care or pediatric dental care—they’ll never use it. The young adults on family plans are costing more than young children. Young adults never go to the doctor but children go to the doctor, why do they cost less?"

"We are two years into full implementation of the "Affordable Care Act," it’s clear that health insurance is anything but more affordable," states Elizabeth Stelle, Director of Policy Analysis at the Commonwealth Foundation. "We compared the cheapest insurance plans in 2013 – the year before the exchange – to 2015 exchange rates in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Overall, rates continue to rise."

Monthly Premiums in Philadelphia
Plan Type 2013 2014 2015 Increase since 2013 Percent
27 year old male $49 $171 $203 $154 314%
50 year old male $111 $332 $306 $195 176%
Family of 3 (single mom) $154 $391 $412 $258 168%
Family of 4 $182 $576 $606 $424 232%

Monthly Premiums in Pittsburgh
Plan Type 2013 2014 2015 Increase since 2013 Percent
27 year old male $45 $104 $131 $86 191%
50 year old male $111 $203 $212 $101 91%
Family of 3 (single mom) $154 $238 $286 $131 85%
Family of 4 $182 350 $420 $238 131%

• Since 2013, premiums have increased 314 percent for 27-year old males and 217 percent for 27-year old females in Philadelphia.

• Since 2013, premiums have increased 191 percent for 27-year old males and 105 percent for 27-year old females in Pittsburgh.

Notes to Tables: 2013 rates come from the least-expensive plan available on Rates are for individuals who do not smoke and do not have pre-existing conditions. In most cases, catastrophic plans are no longer available for individuals over 30. For older adults and families we, compared 2013 catastrophic plans to the cheapest bronze plan. The comparison does not take into account the tax credits available to individuals and families making between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. This comparison does not take into account out-of-pocket costs, including co-pays and deductibles.

Stelle added, "Getting rid of mandates like pediatric dental or maternity care for all is one way to drive down costs."

Learn more about real healthcare reform solutions and hear more stories like Regina’s here.

Elizabeth Stelle and Regina Weinhardt are available for comment on the effects of Obamacare in Pennsylvania.

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For more information, please contact Cindy Hamill, Director of Strategic Communications at
(856)607-4208 or [email protected].

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