News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Meaden & Moore

Knight Foundation


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Ohio groups debate costs of Affordable Care Act
Lt. Gov. Taylor says costs will go up, others say her calculations are off
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010.
Courtesy of Keith Ellison
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The Affordable Care Act has sparked a lot of debate since it was proposed. And with the federal health insurance plan taking effect soon, there are a lot of numbers being tossed around. There also is a lot of confusion about how much the changes will cost consumers and companies.
LISTEN: KASLER ON ACA

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:57)


Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor has been an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act. But she says that does not influence a study her office did of the costs submitted for the statewide health insurance exchanges, which will be operated by the federal government.

Rising prices
Taylor is the state’s insurance commissioner, and says she used an independent actuary group’s report to look at the average costs of 214 health insurance plans filed by 14 companies in Ohio in 2013, which came out to $223.

“We compared that to the average cost to again cover these essential health benefits beginning in 2014, and that number that was based on the plans that have filed was $420, which represents an 88 percent increase,” Taylor says.

Taylor says those essential health benefits, which are required in all plans, are driving up those costs. Though her study relates to the amount it will cost insurance companies to provide those essential health benefits, not premiums paid by individuals and companies, Taylor says she expects premiums to rise significantly as well. And she says this study backs up a projection in 2011 saying premiums would rise with the Affordable Care Act.

Or maybe not
But that is not how a non-partisan group that studies health related issues sees it. Amy Roling McGee is with the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, and she says Taylor’s study provided only a partial look at what may be the cost of insurance coverage in 2014.

“But that it didn’t equate to the premiums that would be charged as market competition might influence rates and subsidies will be provided under 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which is approximately $78,000 a year for a family of three,” Roling McGee says.

The Taylor's report made supporters of the ACA, such as Kathleen Gmeiner of the Universal Health Care Network of Ohio, angry.

“Unfortunately the lieutenant governor ... is making the wrong comparisons and is making people in Ohio more concerned than they need to be by not explaining this properly,” Gmeiner says.

Gmeiner agrees with Roling McGee that subsidies need to be included in comparisons for them to be fair. Gmeiner and Roling McGee acknowledge that younger, healthier people may pay higher premiums, but people with pre-existing conditions and serious illnesses such as cancer will have access to insurance when it was too expensive or completely unavailable before the the federal health-care overhaul. 

Still, or ever, competitive?
But Taylor says her main concern is that the exchange created by the act will not make for a competitive insurance market in Ohio.

“We didn’t need a market to be generated or created in Ohio," Taylor says. "That market already existed. In fact, we’re seeing a bit of a shrinking of the market after the Obamacare mandates take effect.”

Roling McGee agrees with the first part of that statement, but disagrees with the last part.

“We’ve been known to have a competitive insurance market, and it looks like we’ll continue to have a competitive insurance market,” Roling McGee says.

But Gmeiner has a very different opinion of the historical state of Ohio's insurance market.

“I would say that it certainly is, if not the weakest, one of the weakest. And the reason is that Ohio has done a very good job of keeping people out of insurance because of their pre-existing conditions," Gmeiner says. "We’ve kept so many people out that rates are artificially low.”

People who do not have health insurance coverage through their employers can enroll to purchase insurance on the exchange starting Oct. 1.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

An amendment to an Ohio agriculture bill may kill whole bill
I hope the Gov. sticks to his veto, Att takes more out of this state than it puts in.

From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank you
Dear Terry: On my 8th cup of coffee trying to get Thanksgiving "Brunch" done ahead of time because I work nights. However, I just had to stop to contact yo...

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University