As Michelle Andrews reported for Kaiser Health News, “Thanks in part to the 2010 health law’s provisions that allow adult children to stay on their parents’ plans until they reach age 26, employers are scrutinizing their dependent coverage policies more closely.”
Heritage’s Drew Gonshorowski has cautioned against the adverse side effects before, writing, “In the case of insuring more young people, recent analysis shows that Obamacare encourages young adults to enroll in dependent coverage and drop their own coverage, causes employers to stop offering coverage, and will likely increase premiums.”
In accordance with Gonshorowski’s warning, insurance companies are raising dependent premiums. According to Aon Hewitt’s 2012 employer health care survey, employers already subsidize dependent coverage less, a trend that is expected to continue. The survey found that plans will subsidize employee coverage at 75 percent and dependent coverage at 69 percent. A Towers Watson survey also found that 38 percent of companies are planning or considering significantly reducing subsidization of coverage for spouses and dependents, leading to even higher premiums.
This provision is just one of many in Obamacare that may have already increased premiums or will likely do so in the future. Since Obamacare became law in 2010, average premiums for individuals with employer-based coverage have increased by $566 and average premiums for families with employer-based coverage have increased by $1,975. These increases are in spite of the President’s repeated promise that, “In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.”
Worse, the higher premiums accompany another misleading claim about Obamacare’s “benefits.” Extending coverage to this age group has only helped slightly over half a million young adults ages 19-25 gain coverage, according to the 2012 Census report. This is in stark contrast to President Obama’s repeated claims that his law has helped millions of young adults. In a campaign speech in August, the President claimed, “Nearly 7 million young people have health insurance because they’re able to stay on their parents’ plans,” which simply is not true.
Americans need real health care reform, not the broken campaign promises embodied in Obamacare.