More Good Obamacare News You Won’t Hear: Shopping Around Could Save Enrollees $2 Billion

While the mainstream media has largely stopped flat-out lying about Obamacare, they sure aren’t about to report the good news in a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services. Even as the Supreme Court prepares to take up yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the President’s signature achievement continues to rack up the good news. The latest is that, thanks to increased competition from insurance carriers rushing to get into the health insurance marketplaces, most Obamacare enrollees can find a cheaper plan this year by shopping around on the exchanges. The report finds that:

  • More than 90 percent of consumers will be able to choose from three or more issuers—up from 74 percent in 2014.

  • Consumers can choose from an average of 40 health plans for 2015 coverage—up from 30 in 2014, based on data at the county level.

  • Across all metal levels, nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) current Marketplace enrollees can get coverage for $100 or less in 2015 after any applicable tax credits.

  • 65 percent of current Marketplace enrollees can get coverage for $100 or less for 2015, after tax credits, if they shop for a more affordable plan within their current metal level, compared to 50 percent of current Marketplace enrollees who can get coverage for $100 or less, after tax credits, if they do not change their plan for 2015.

  • For returning customers, it pays to shop. More than 7 in 10 current Marketplace enrollees can find a lower premium plan in the same metal level—before tax credits—by returning to shop.

  • If all returning consumers switched from their current plan to the lowest-cost premium plan in the same metal level, the total savings in premiums would be over $2 billion.

While the median premium increase for 2015 is still an ultra-low 4%, the HHS report shows that if people whose rates are being jacked up go back into the marketplace, they can find cheaper plans, and so the result of that could be that insurers might not jack their rates up next year. That’s how choice and competition work, and they are working brilliantly for Obamacare.

Unfortunately, you won’t be hearing any of that from mainstream news organizations, who will likely be handling it like this, if they cover it at all:

“So people who are on those plans will then have to go and shop around, pick a new plan, go through another process. So are you just trying to put a positive spin on what actually looks like it’s a cost increase on plans?

“…but still a cost increase.”

Jesus Christ, they’re going to a website, not crawling over broken glass soaked in rubbing alcohol.

That was Julie Pace from The Associated Press, whose organization reported the news this way: “Average Obamacare Health Premiums to Rise in 2015,” and which misstated some if the report’s key findings. While they point out that “about two-thirds of current customers can still find coverage comparable to what they have now for $100 a month or less if they shop around,” they don’t mention that if you include people who don’t shop around, it’s 80% who will pay less than $100 a month, and they never mention that $2 billion. And you wonder why voters are so stupid.