Elected officials are starting to hear static about affordability (or lack thereof) of exchange plans. ACA cost-sharing is simply too high to provide meaningful protection for many middle to low income Americans. CMS put out a new marketing piece entitled: “Five Facts about Deductibles” to deflect the negative impression of deductibles which states:
“Here are five things to know about deductibles in Marketplace plans:
- All Marketplace plans cover recommended preventive services without a deductible.
- Many other health services are often covered without a deductible.
- Look to see what your plan covers without a deductible.
- Consider services covered without a deductible along with your monthly premiums, deductible, and other out of pocket costs when choosing the plan that is right for you.
- Silver plans can save you more.”
The last item points to promoting cost-sharing subsidies for those earning less than 250% of the federal poverty level.
News flash…they aren’t going to fool anyone! Deductibles on silver and bronze plans don’t offer meaningful protection at all and premiums are too expensive without subsidies. We are a long way from solving the healthcare cost crisis. The best marketing isn’t going to hold up when a family earning $65,000 faces a $4,000 healthcare bill. We need to get serious about affordability – payment for quality medicine, addressing skyrocketing pharmacy costs, and healthcare fraud are all easy targets, but there is more to be done to ease the cost pressure before there is another explosion.