Health Insurance Costs Crushing Many People Who Don’t Get Federal Subsidies

Like millions of Americans in this final week of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, Diane McCabe is shopping for health insurance.

“At my age, I can’t go without it even though I’m healthy now,” said McCabe, 62, a self-employed real estate agent in Luzerne County, Pa. “But the process is frustrating, and the expense significant.”

That’s because McCabe is one of the 5 million people who buy their own coverage and pay the full cost. Her income is too high to qualify for a government subsidy to help defray the premium.

McCabe this week settled on a $773-a-month policy that has a $4,000 deductible — the amount she’ll have to pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in. She estimates that will account for at least 15 percent of her income in 2019.

Under the ACA, people who earn up to 400 percent of the poverty level (about $48,500 for an individual and $100,400 for a family of four in 2019) are eligible for premium subsidies. Eighty-seven percent of the 10.6 million people with ACA plans this year received a subsidy.

– Kaiser Health News

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