HHS cherry picks through its Obamacare data

HHS.gov

Article Highlights

  • The careful data dump obfuscates far more than it reveals.

    Tweet This

  • All of these plans will still expose consumers to hefty cost sharing.

    Tweet This

  • It’s an attempt to gain the upper hand on the messaging for sure — but one that will be quickly annulled.

    Tweet This

The Department of Health and Human Services released some highly selective data today that tries to give a snapshot of the costs consumers will incur when they shop for Obamacare. But the careful data dump obfuscates far more than it reveals.

The data is from the 36 states that are going to have their exchanges administered by the Federal government, either because the Governors opted their state out of Obamacare or a state simply couldn’t get their own exchange up in time

But the report cherry picked the data by narrowly focusing on only two slivers of the marketplace: The lowest cost premiums available to 27-year-olds with an income of $25,000 and families of four with an income of $50,000.

One can bet that folks with these economic and demographic characteristics, which represent just a fraction of the market, weren’t chosen by accident.

The results are pretty much what we already knew from the previous reports that have circulated from Avalere Health, McKinsey and other groups.

For the 27-year old non-smoker, the average premium will start at $163 a month for the lowest-cost “bronze” plan; $203 for the “silver” plan, which provides more benefits than bronze; and $240 for the more-comprehensive “gold” plan.

All of these plans will still expose consumers to hefty cost sharing (and even more significant co-insurance once they go outside their HMO-style, narrow provider list).

The new figures highlighted the most favorable prices in each market. So you can bet these numbers also correlate with the plans that will leave consumers with the fewest choices.

For a family of four with an annual income of $50,000, the administration said, monthly premiums for the second-cheapest plan will vary widely, averaging $600 in Arizona, $800 in Georgia, $961 in Indiana, $1,069 in Mississippi, $859 in New Hampshire, $943 in New Jersey and $656 in Utah.

It was peculiar release just days away from the full data. It’s almost sure to be out of sync with the vast majority of choices people will be offered. It’s an attempt to gain the upper hand on the messaging for sure — but one that will be quickly annulled.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Scott
Gottlieb

What's new on AEI

Love people, not pleasure
image Oval Office lacks resolve on Ukraine
image Middle East Morass: A public opinion rundown of Iraq, Iran, and more
image Verizon's Inspire Her Mind ad and the facts they didn't tell you
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Event Registration is Closed
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.