The Case of the $100 Deductible

By Ron Stouffer and Rosie Skomitz

Recently “Rob” shared with us his excitement over finally being able to find health insurance with the shockingly low deductible of $100, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We’ve been following the ACA since its inception, and every plan we’ve seen carries deductibles in the thousands of dollars. We wondered if, perhaps, Rob misunderstood his deductible, but he adamantly insisted the $100 figure was correct.

Eager to get to the bottom of this disconnect, we contacted Phyllis Dessel, a Social Services Consultant who helps clients navigate the health insurance marketplace. Her clients are lucky to have such a caring facilitator. We described the discrepancy in deductibles, and Phyllis had a ready explanation: It is likely that the deductible in Rob’s plan is actually $2,100. However, due to something called a “cost sharing” subsidy, those insureds who qualify based on income are responsible for only $100 of that amount. The taxpayers cover the remaining $2,000. Keep in mind that those who do not qualify for subsidies or cost sharing will find that premiums and deductibles are high.

It is certainly good news that the middle-aged Rob, who was previously uninsured, has found a health care plan. No doubt many other Americans find themselves with this coverage too. That’s a good thing. But we also recognize that this is government welfare paid to the insurance industry – an industry making out like bandits thanks to ACA.    Read the full article.