President Donald Trump once again railed about the high cost of the Affordable Care Act on Monday.
In a tweet, he said that the deductibles are in many cases way over $7,000, which makes the coverage worthless or unusable.
Facts First: It’s true that some Obamacare plans have deductibles over $7,000 for a single person and many family policies have even higher deductibles. But it’s possible to get plans with lower deductibles, and more than half of Americans receive federal subsidies that reduce their burden when it comes to paying deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
One of the main critiques of Obamacare has long been its pricey deductibles and premiums, particularly for those who don’t qualify for federal assistance.
The law sets a ceiling on how much consumers have to spend on health care. In 2019, it’s $7,900 for a single person and double that for a family. Some bronze plans peg their deductibles to those levels.
The average deductible for a 2019 bronze policy – which have higher deductibles, but lower premiums than other tiers of Obamacare plans – is nearly $5,900, while the average maximum of out-of-pocket limit is just under $7,000, according to Health Pocket, an online health insurance shopping tool. Family bronze plans have an average deductible of just under $12,200 and an average out-of-pocket maximum of nearly $14,000.
Prior to Obamacare, some individual market plans had deductibles of $10,000 or more, said Sabrina Corlette, research professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.
“The ACA was an improvement over a lot of what was available before,” she said. “But it definitely could be better.”
That said, some 54% of those who signed up for 2019 plans qualify for cost-sharing subsidies, which can greatly lower their deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Individuals earning less than $30,350 and families of four making less than $62,750 are eligible for this assistance.
The Trump administration is also playing a role in boosting how much people have to pay for care since the limits are set annually by the federal government. The 2019 cap was 7% higher than the year before, the largest increase since the law took effect in 2014.
And Trump officials wants to change the methodology for 2020, which would increase the out-of-pocket limit by 2.5% more than it would have otherwise, according to the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, a left-leaning group.
This would lead the cap rising to $8,200 for a single person, instead of $8,000, and to $16,400 for a family, rather than $16,000.