The latest tally shows that ObamaCare enrollments are just over two million, falling far short of the estimated 3.3 million expected to sign up by January 1, and putting into serious doubt the goal of seven million by the end of March.
At first blush, the reason for the lackluster enrollment is the premium cost. Many people are learning to their dismay that they will be facing premium increases of 30 to 70 percent, or more. In some cases, much more. For instance, a 27-year-old man in Memphis will see his premiums jump from $41 a month last year to $119 a month this year, a 190-percent increase. A 27-year-old woman in Nashville will be hit with a 97-percent increase.
In California, some 600,000 of those whose coverages have been cancelled will learn quickly that they don’t qualify for subsidies, resulting in much higher premiums when they do find coverage.
In Alabama, premiums have doubled for some middle-class families, while in Washington State, premiums have increased between 34 percent and 80 percent.
According to the New York Times, some people will simply find the premiums unaffordable, in some cases requiring more than 20 percent of their incomes. A 50-year-old man making $50,000 a year looking for the cheapest plan, for example, would find premiums exceeding $10,000 a year in more than 170 counties around the country.
And then there are the deductibles. As people shopping for coverage on the exchanges are finding out, in order to keep their premiums affordable, they are having to accept much higher deductibles — which is fine as long as they don’t get sick.
In addition, there’s the hidden surprise waiting for those who are enjoying subsidies to help them pay for the insurance. If they have a “major life event” like getting married, or getting a raise or a promotion with a higher salary, not only could the subsidy disappear but any subsidy they enjoyed prior will have to be paid back.