Recently the Wisconsin Department of Health released a study of the impact of ObamaCare on Wisconsin families, employers and health insurance costs. The study was an objective and balanced assessment from Gorman Actuarial, a well-respected independent actuary firm, and Dr. Jonathan Gruber, one of the key architects of then-Governor Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health reform.
The findings are startling, particularly when you consider that Florida’s health insurance markets are similar to Wisconsin’s in how they are currently regulated, although Florida has more mandates.
The short takeaway – if you like the plan you have now, you will likely lose it and pay a lot more.
By the numbers, the impact of ObamaCare on Wisconsin is estimated to be as follows (for perspective, note that Florida is about 3.3 times larger in population than Wisconsin):
- 40% of individuals buying insurance outside their employer will be forced to buy more expensive plans because of the new federal mandates and regulations
- The individual insurance market will shrink by 150,000 (equivalent of 495,000 in Florida)
- 100,000 employees will be involuntarily dropped from their employer coverage as their employer will stop offering health insurance (330,000 equivalent in Florida)
- Even taking into account tax credits and subsidies in the much-touted exchange, 59% of the individual market will receive an average premium increase of 31%
- 53% of individuals working at small employers will receive an average premium increase of 15%
- 46% of those individuals who start receiving taxpayer-financed subsidies will already have coverage (currently are not uninsured), just moving to subsidized coverage – if the individual mandate stands
Most interesting, if the individual mandate is declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, as it was by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in ruling on Florida’s lawsuit, only 62,000 more Wisconsin individuals (just 1 in 9 of those currently uninsured in WI) are estimated to become newly insured because of ObamaCare. (For Florida, only reaching 1 in 9 uninsured would mean 3.39 million would remain uninsured in Florida and just 423,000 would become newly insured.)
Lots of higher costs for everyone with coverage now and few newly insured – unfortunately that may be the ObamaCare legacy if it is not repealed, replaced or amended by Congress.