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As the fall enrollment period for healthcare coverage approaches, one of the most obvious Obamacare facts becoming clear is that almost everyone is going to be paying more come January 2015. Premiums are going up, co-pays are going up, and deductibles are going way up.
The health insurance companies say that the Affordable Care Act, and U.S. President Barack Obama's frequent changes to it, is to blame. And major employers have blamed Obamacare for increased employee costs and other unpopular changes they've been making to their health benefits.
But the ACA might only be partly to blame.
"[Big companies are] using this as cover," Farzan Bharucha, a healthcare strategist for consulting firm Kurt Salmon, told USA Today. "Companies are making a business decision that by dropping or limiting coverage you won't have employees leave."
So what's really going on, and how hard is this going to hit the average American?
Let's find out.
Obamacare Facts: Costs Are Rising in 2015
Numerous surveys this year of employers and insurance companies have all indicated that healthcare costs will rise for consumers when rates are announced for 2015.
Looking at the data so far, PricewaterhouseCoopers has determined that monthly premiums will rise an average of 8.2% across the United States.
And burden on consumers won't ease up much in the years that follow. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that healthcare costs will keep going up about 6% a year through the next decade, pushing annual premiums from about $3,800 now to about $6,900 in 2024.
That's quite a reversal from the savings of $2,500 a year that President Obama promised in his 2008 campaign.
Meanwhile, both the Hay Group and WorldatWork say U.S. salaries will only grow at about 3% in 2015, and will be hard-pressed to keep up with the rising healthcare costs over the next decade.
And these scary Obamacare facts don't stop at higher premiums. According to the August Business Survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, employers intend to raise healthcare insurance costs across the board.
Not only did 88.2% of companies say their premiums are rising for 2015, but 76.5% said that their out-of-pocket maximums will increase, 64.7% said co-pays are going up, and 91.2% said that their deductibles will be higher.
The spike in healthcare costs will put American consumers under even more pressure – so how much is to blame on Obamacare?
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.