- Expanded no-cost preventive care, including immunizations, diabetes and cancer screenings, counseling for smoking and alcohol abuse, and more.
- No annual or lifetime limits on essential health benefits. [emphasis added]
It is only "no-cost" in the sense that the patient under current parameters will not have to pay at the moment of presenting himself or herself for treatment. But, patients will be paying higher monthly premiums to cover the "no-cost" care and "no annual or lifetime limits" on benefits.
By contrast, in a Forbes op/ed, Sally Pipes notes that AETNA's CEO recently predicted that "unsubsidized" premiums may go up 20%-50%. Not quite "no-cost". Blue Shield is also a little skeptical about the "no-cost" features of the bill.
In California, Blue Shield has asked regulators to approve premium increases of up to 20 percent. Obamacare’s new regulations were a factor in the request. A spokesperson for the company said the new law “will bring a lot of volatility” into the market.However, you may get help with your higher premiums. According to Kaiser lots of people may qualify for health care subsidies.
- If you’re single, the range of income qualifying for assistance could be between $15,282 and $45,960. In Hawaii, it could be between $17,596 and $52,920.
- For couples, the range of combined income qualifying for assistance could be between $20,628 and $62,040. In Hawaii, it could be between $23,741 and $71,400.
- For a family of four, the range of combined income qualifying for assistance could be between $31,322 and $94,200. In Hawaii, it could be between $36,030 and $108,360.
Voters already not too keen on Obamacare will undoubtedly become less keen about the "no-cost" aspects of the bill when the new rates kick in. Then, watch for not so sunny Kaiser explanations.