90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sorting Out The Cost Of Obamacare

Last month, the Society of Actuaries – the people who crunch statistics to come up with future predictions – released a study finding that insurance claims by individuals would soar 32 percent under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

That finding quickly turned into (inaccurate) headlines that premiums – the cost of individual insurance – would soar by 32 percent.

Cost projections in the study vary widely from state to state (see infographic below). California’s costs are projected to go up 62 percent, while New York’s are expected to decrease by 10 percent.

The study predicted that Maryland’s costs would go up by 67 percent, though officials there say the study is not considering the impact of state level decisions.

The Obama Administration says that the study does not take into account tax breaks that people will be given to help afford premiums, and special payments to insurers that attract a lot of sick people who want to get insured.

We ask Kaiser Health News reporter Jay Hancock to clear things up for us.

Infographic from the study by the Society of Actuaries:

Society of Actuaries infographic


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Ken Gates0

    Here and Now should do a story on the only real way to lower health care costs—single-payer.  All other approaches merely prolong the agony for most/profit bonanza for others that is our current private insurance system.

    • Kcgb56

       Single payer would make things even worse, IMO.  The only way to slow the increases in health care costs is to let patients control things, i.e. to move away from the third party payer system.  Consumers in all other areas of the economy shop for value and insist on having information including price information.  This keeps costs down.

  • Limited6vision

    I am one of those young and healthy you were talking about.  Lately I’ve been trying to get good and accurate information on the upcoming healthcare situation and, when working in construction in a red state, you only hear the worst possible outcomes; as you would expect it puts the fear in me.  I full time at almost twice minimum wage, which makes me feel like I’m making a good amount of money, enough so that I have finally be able to move out from my dad’s house like most college grads wish, but I by no mean make enough to take on another bill for something I would rarely use.  I don’t go to doctors unless I am unable to function due to a serious injury or some other type of emergency (i.e. bucket-handle meniscal tear and appendicitis).  The latter my insurance only covered $1100 of a $17000 doctor bill.  This makes me very hesitant to get insurance again because it didn’t do me much good.  In an effort to prevent a rant or tell any more unwanted stories, I would like to have health insurance even though I’m not going to go to a doctor for minor things plus I would like to be a contributor to help healthcare costs across the board, but I need to eat, not live with parents, try to live for now AND the future not just scrape by paycheck to paycheck and never have any savings.

  • X-Ray

    Soar 32%? We were told that Obamacare was going to save money, that it would improve the quality and efficiency of medical care in the U.S. Are you saying the our politicians lied to us (again), or are they just incompetent and feckless?

  • Guest

    No, X-Ray, we have a Republican party that will do anything they can to destroy this country. Look at the job they have been doing for the last 30 years. Clinton just did his pile-on routine. There we are.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 26 2 Comments

It’s Not Business As Usual In Ferguson, Missouri

From barber shops to bike shops, WBUR's Deborah Becker looks at what the protests have meant for businesses.

August 26 78 Comments

A Fan Says No To Football

Steve Almond writes, "our allegiance to football legitimizes and ever fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and even homophobia."

August 25 12 Comments

Pediatricians Group: Delay School Start Times So Teens Can Sleep

Many studies have shown that the average adolescent doesn't get enough sleep, and that can cause physical and mental health issues.

August 25 12 Comments

A Police Officer On Lessons From Ferguson

Jim Bueermann says the shooting of Michael Brown and the aftermath point to the need for a conversation about policing in the U.S.