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ObamaCare’s High Deductibles Create More “Free Riders” than Ever

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On November 1, 2013 @ 7:23 pm In The Point | 8 Comments

Ironically these free riders won’t be uninsured. They’ll have ObamaCare.

The health care reform law was sold in part as a way to wipe out hospitals’ costs of uncompensated care by requiring universal coverage and expanding Medicaid eligibility. However, a surge in high-deductible health plans could have the opposite effect should patients not cover their share of the cost.

If enough of those newly insured patients can’t, or don’t, pay their bills, hospitals could struggle to make up for $155 billion in cuts to their federal reimbursements that they agreed to in order to expand health insurance coverage under Obamacare, according to a recent report from Moody’s Investors Service.

As the plans on the marketplace are designed, a patient with a high-deductible plan could be on the hook for a $5,000 to $6,000 bill before their insurance kicks in.

“When they have a catastrophic health care event, their out-of-pocket expenses can exceed what they’re able to pay,” said Steven Glass, the Clinic’s chief financial officer. “That’s where it makes it very challenging for a health care provider.”

So hospitals will lose money. Patients will lose money. And who exactly wins?

People are losing their plans and being forced to go onto plans with higher premiums and high deductibles. Hospitals will lose money on both ends from reimbursement cuts and from high deductible patients not paying their bills. And they’ll also be hit with a bunch of new “quality control” fines.

So much for stopping the “free riders”. Instead ObamaCare will create insured free riders.


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