Starting next year, the ACA also will help individuals get coverage regardless of their health. Currently, if you already have a medical condition, insurers can either reject your application or charge a much higher price. Many people with heart trouble or diabetes are unable to find an insurer willing to cover them because of the risk they represent for future claims.
5. INSURANCE PRICES MAY CHANGE
Health insurers are warning that premiums, or the cost of coverage, could soar for some people due to a number of factors. Those include taxes and fees, as well as coverage requirements the law imposes.
The extent of any price hikes will depend on many variables, such as where people live, their current coverage and health and their age.
Young, healthy people who currently have low-cost coverage may see some of the biggest hikes in part because the law limits the price differences an insurer can charge a person based on age.
Insurers generally charge seniors more because they tend to generate more expensive claims.
The subsidies that individuals start receiving next year will help offset these price hikes. Most who gain coverage in the individual insurance market will have income levels low enough to qualify for some subsidy help, said Jennifer Tolbert, a health reform expert with Kaiser.
She said that will be especially true for the younger customers who may face the biggest price increases.
About 149 million individuals have employer-sponsored health coverage in the United States, making it the largest source of coverage. Those who work for big companies may not see a lot of change, at least initially.
The law will add costs like premium taxes to the average worker’s insurance bill. But the employer generally pays most of that bill, which means some employees may not notice the additional cost.