3 months ago Kristen Schorsch, Chicago Business
Consumers' average total cost of coverage could be more than triple the monthly payments
From Kristen Schorsch, Chicago Business:
While Gov. Pat Quinn has touted the low premiums offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange, consumers' average total cost of coverage could be more than triple the monthly payments to carriers, according to a Crain's analysis.
The federal mandate to have insurance will push into the market many people who never have purchased policies before, particularly “young invincibles” who often skip coverage in the belief they will remain healthy. They may be shocked by the out-of-pocket costs.
For example, a 27-year-old who buys the most common, bare-minimum plan could on average spend as much as $8,710 a year on health care, or more than three times the annual premium after including co-payments and deductibles, according to a review of plans offered in Cook County. For some plans, out-of-pocket spending could be more than four times the annual premium, Crain's found. A consumer's cost depends on actual medical bills, which for young adults typically are low but can soar with a major accident or serious illness.
Attention to cost is likely to intensify, as an estimated 500,000 consumers and small businesses enroll in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace, which is emerging from an avalanche of errors that crippled the federal website, where purchases are actually made. Policies that start Jan. 1 must be bought in the next two weeks.
The Quinn administration has not studied the total cost to Illinois consumers of plans sold on the exchange, officials say. Experts caution consumers to do their homework.