Policyholders could pay more under Obama plan
By TOM MURPHY and LINDA A. JOHNSON (AP) – 7 hours ago
If President Barack Obama gets what he wants in his health care plan — covering all Americans and barring insurers from denying coverage — some analysts say individuals could wind up paying higher premiums.
The Obama plan would impose new costs on insurance companies, which would probably then raise the prices customers pay for coverage. Employers also would likely pass on some of their higher costs to employees.
An individual in a typical plan might have to pay up to $780 more for the same coverage in the first year of Obama's plan, estimates Erik Gordon, a health care analyst and assistant professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.
Gordon said employees now typically pay 20 to 40 percent of the premium for a typical health care package costing about $13,000 a year for a family of four, with employers picking up the rest.
Obama's plan would raise insurers' costs 10 to 15 percent if reform doesn't provide other savings, Gordon estimated. He thinks employers would stick employees with perhaps 40 percent of the higher premium, or $520 to $780 more — though they might also receive better coverage because of mandatory preventive care and screenings.