NASE Blogs

Can You Afford Health Coverage After Reform?

Nov 04, 2009

Posted by Kristie Arslan - The House Democrats released their new and improved health reform bill (H.R. 3962).  Summary: House Health Bill Summary- Oct2009.  

Leadership is clamoring to get the votes it needs to pass the bill out of the House this month.  A big feat since many are concerned about the cost (over $1 trillion dollars), the inclusion of a government-run, public insurance option and other contentious issues.   

Due to the limited provisions providing immediate cost savings or assistance for the self-employed in the House legislation, as well as in the other Senate reform bills, the NASE is concerned that coupled with the new benefit requirements, micro-businesses and the self-employed could pay more for health insurance post-reform than they do currently.

According to comments sent by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to Congress on Monday, the average premium that citizens would pay based on the three lowest-cost plans under the House bill would be:

  • $5,300 for an individual (single) policy
  • $15,000 for a family policy 

The House reform legislation includes a tax credit to assist those who decide to purchase health coverage through the new Exchange or health marketplace the bill creates.  The tax credit would be available on a sliding scale for those making below 400% of the poverty level. Thus, a single person making below $43,320 or a family of four with a household income below $88,200 would qualify for some percentage of the tax credit. 

Based on CBO estimates:

  • A single person making $38,300 could pay around $6,100 annually for health insurance after any government assistance. 
  • A family of four making $66,000 could pay $10,000 per year for coverage after assistance.

Is this more or less than what you are currently paying for health coverage? 

Your benefit packages will likely be richer and more comprehensive after reform.  Are you willing to pay the costs projected for coverage after reform if you receive more comprehensive insurance?

Remember, under reform all Americans will be required to purchase coverage or pay a tax or fee -- Will you be able to afford health coverage if this reform bill is passed?

Share your thoughts with us here on our blog or send your comments to advocacy@nase.org.