In a strange alliance, some Democrats and Insurance Companies are proposing adding a “copper” level, with benefits below the “bronze level” currently available, in 2016. It is too late to do this for 2015 as plans are currently being approved for next year, and congressional action would be required (unless the President decided to take “executive action”).
A benefit plan with less benefits than the catastrophic plan offered last year doesn’t seem to make sense to me. First of all, only 2% of all enrollees took the catastrophic plan, with most opting for the silver level (which also had the most subsidy amounts available.”
Secondly, the Catastrophic Plan already has a deductible of $6350 before it pays a dime of claims. The proposed copper plan would have a $9000 deductible. Essentially this would be providing people a “false hope” – they might be able to afford the premiums, but could not afford to use the plan if they were sick – essentially not having insurance.
Perhaps there is another way:
“According to an April survey conducted for Enroll America, a health insurance advocacy organization, 48 percent of those who didn’t try to enroll said the number one reason was the fear that they couldn’t afford coverage. Many didn’t know that financial help was available, however. Only one in five of those who sat out the first year of the ACA knew that premium subsidies were available for low- and middle-income people, the survey found. ”
Maybe we should try and educate people better, with less confusion, and fewer problems.