Ohioans finally get to look at what our Exchange prices will be. This is good, because open enrollment begins in 2 months.

The Ohio Department of Insurance released a predictably misleading1 statement about “average premiums”. As Ezra Klein pointed out a while back, this is comparing apples to oranges you can’t buy. Most insurance products on the old market are only available for healthy young men.

So, I made price comparison charts for 4 people, based on age, gender, and income. The old market prices are from eHealthInsurance.com and, as Klein points out, these are teaser rates. If you have any medical history, you would have to pay more.

The plans on the Ohio Exchange are in blue. There are a lot more plans than this, but the differences are marginal. With these plans, you get security: the price you see is the price you’ll pay, and they won’t have any hidden gaps in coverage. It’s pretty likely that these rates will change a bit in the next two months; they’ve dropped considerably since they were submitted in June.

There’s also a low-cost catastrophic plan, which will (probably) be free for everybody earning less than $50,000. I can’t actually find that plan, though, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Single Woman earning $20,000, age 40

Carrier Premium Deductible Out-of-Pocket Max
Humana $43 $5750 $6000
Medical Mutual $71 $6000 $5750
Medical Mutual $130 $5000 $5000
United Health $162 $5000 $10,000
Humana $63 $1917 $1917
CareSource2 $85 $1667 $1667
Medical Mutual $162 $2000 $2117
Anthem $178 $2500 $6000
Medical Mutual $201 $2500 $2500
Medical Mutual $246 $2500 $5000
Caresource $163 $1000 $1500
Anthem $273 $500 $4000
Medical Mutual $398 $1000 $3000
Humana $407 $1000 $3000
Humana $126 $1000 $1750
Medical Mutual $272 $1000 $1500

For a 40-year old single woman earning $50,000, the current rates are the same. On the Exchange, she’d pay:

Carrier Premium Deductible Out-of-Pocket Max
Medical Mutual $225  $6000 $6000
Humana $197 $5750 $5750
CareSource $239 $3500 $5000
Medical Mutual $316  $2000 $6350
Humana $217 $4600 $5750
CareSource $317 $1000 $1500
Medical Mutual $374 $1000 $5000
Humana $248 $2500 $3500
Medical Mutual $426 $500 $1750
Humana $280 $1000 $1500

So, apples-to-apples, wealthy women are paying more for low-end insurance and quite a bit less for higher-end insurance. And, if you get pregnant, you’ll spend $6350 at most; in the past, you’d be looking at $25,000+ in uncovered expenses.

A 27-year-old single man in the current individual market is looking at different rates. That’s the whole “gender discrimination” thing that Obamacare is ending. His prices are:

Carrier Premium Deductible Out-of-Pocket Max
Humana $50 $6000 $6000
Medical Mutual $73 $5000 $7116
Anthem $70 $5000 $8500
Anthem $107 $5000 $5000
Humana $67 $1917 $1917
CareSource $85 $1667 $1667
Medical Mutual $148 $2000 $4116
Medical Mutual $115 $2500 $5000
Medical Mutual $140 $1500 $4000
CareSource $149 $1000 $1500
Anthem $174 $1000 $4000
Anthem $135 $500 $4000
Medical Mutual $185 $500 $3000
Humana $118 $1000 $1750
Medical Mutual $238 $1000 $1500

And for the mythical3 uninsured 27 year old man earning $50,000, the prices are:

Carrier Premium Deductible Out-of-Pocket Max
Medical Mutual $184 $6000 $6000
Humana $161 $5750 $5750
CareSource $196 $3500 $5000
Medical Mutual $259 $2000 $6350
Humana $178 $4600 $5750
CareSource $260 $1000 $1500
Medical Mutual $307 $1000 $5000
Humana $203 $2500 $3500
Medical Mutual $349 $500 $1750
Humana $229 $1000 $1500

Lower income young men (which includes basically all young men) will be paying slightly less, and uninsured wealthy young men (to the degree they exist) will be paying considerably more. I have serious doubts about the plans on the old market, and you can see from the jump in Medical Mutual’s rates what coverage for preexisting conditions means.


1 How predictable? I wrote this yesterday, that’s how predictable Lt. Gov. Taylor is.

Ohio’s subsidies are based on the second-least expensive Silver plan. I looked at 5 Silver plans, and this CareSource one was the second-least expensive. Of course, since ODI didn’t organize these in any way or even list which Silver plans are available in Cincinnati, I could be completely wrong about the subsidy size.

But the second-least expensive will definitely be $85.

3 Not to get too far down the rabbit hole with the handful of freelance tech consultants who earn that much money without being an employee, but of course healthy people with no big-ticket risks are going to pay more in a community-rating system.

The whole point of health insurance is to redistribute health delivery according to need, on the basis that we’ll all eventually need health care. If we didn’t redistribute health delivery, we’d all need around $200,000 in savings in case we got an unexpected severe illness. Not only is that not possible for around 90% of the population, but it would also mean our national savings rate would be around 25%–meaning a much lower consumer spending and investment.

Obamacare moves us to a system where you pay in based on your income, rather than one where you pay in based on how healthy you are. Setting your premium based on your health has failed; it means that a tiny sliver of people can actually afford health insurance on the individual market, and they’re the people who don’t actually need it.

If you’re angry about the redistributive aspect of Obamacare, it’s not Obamacare that’s upsetting you. It’s health insurance itself, because insurance is inherently redistributive.

  • UppityBlackWoman

    Who the fuck are these mythical single people earning $50,000?

  • Luke Brockmeier

    And not getting insurance from their job.

    They’re trust fund babies and dot com millionaires. The problem is that a whole lot of elite journalists are trust fund babies themselves. When they look at Obamacare, they say “I don’t know anybody who earned less than $50,000 at age 25”.

  • The people with families and who make less than $50,000 will be paying less than these amounts because of the subsidy

  • carrieee4

    My son is only 24 he is making over 60.000 a year and is up for a raise making much more. Get a degree and work in technology for a good company. However he has to pay for his ins. I’m not sure if he has to pay all or part.

  • carrieee4

    my son is not a trust fund baby. in fact at one time when he was young I did receive ADC and food stamps when his father and I broke up. I then went on to get a bachelors degree and a masters. He is making as much or more than I am. He paid for his own schooling through personal student loans, scholarships, grants, and stanford loans. With his job he is paying off his 100,000 dollar loan in just 2 years as his girl friend he lives with graduated 2 years before him and had paid of her loans by living at home the first 2 years and all her income paid off her loans and now they live together and they are paying his off so they can start a life with our those debts.

    but he is only 24 and it took him 5 years to get his degree because of a major change. But believe me he knows many of his friends who make less than 50 k. as do I.

  • Luke Brockmeier

    That’s great to hear about your son. Since he gets insurance through his company, he won’t be buying on the Exchange.

    The Exchange is for people who don’t get health care through their job. More than 99% of Ohioans who are paid more than $50,000 get insurance through their job.

    The only way he’d buy from the Exchange is if he were to start his own company; in that instance, he’d get a 33% discount (most small businesses get this discount).

  • Andy

    Most companies should drop internal plans and push their people to the Exchange, which is exactly what Obama & Co. want. The monthly costs for the Exchange is ridiculous and the deductible is even more ludicrous.

  • Jimmy T

    Best quote of the article … “If you’re angry about the redistributive aspect of Obamacare, it’s not Obamacare that’s upsetting you. It’s health insurance itself, because insurance is inherently redistributive.”

    So please get over your anger and allow poor people and those with minimal choices because of minimum wages, allow to have the comfort and security of health insurance.

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