2019 Was Great For Premiums, But Increased Costs are Still Logically a Problem For Some
According to data compiled by Kaiser, the premium increases from 2018 to 2019 were rather tame compared to past years.
You can see the data for yourself here, but the gist is the average increase in most states was small, and in some states the average premium actually went down.
When you consider cost assistance, and consider how out-of-pocket costs are capped by law, you can get the sense that while many Americans are struggling with costs, the struggle logically didn’t increase much from 2018 to 2019.
That said, in past years where there was more turmoil under both Obama and Trump we did see price spikes, so in total premiums have gone up a considerable amount over all (see data from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014).
Overall since 2014 we have probably seen something like 100% – 150% increases on average in all states (speaking very roughly and eyeing the data), but with some specific plans you would have seen much larger increases and with cost assistance you could have seen your costs drop.
Thus, while those with cost assistance and those who were being charged more before the ACA are probably seeing a net benefit under the law, those without assistance, who had reasonably priced insurance before, and who live in states with big increases…. are in some cases, speaking logically, going to be feeling the burden.
Of course, when we talk about cost it isn’t just about premiums, it is about cost sharing, and in both cases it relates back to the underlying cost of healthcare.
With all that considered, things get complex and are hard to boil down to talking points that fit any agenda.
That said, we don’t really need to fit an agenda, we just need to know what is going on so we can address it.
Complexities aside, my point here is that premiums alone were essentially a success in 2019, but the cumulative effect of the healthcare system, the policy, and both parties bickering for decades on the pocket books of Americans is a much more complex problem.