From that article,
That last sentence really is the bottom line. Someone always will have to pay for "the lunch". It just depends on who will end up paying the biggest part of the tab.
A few features of the health reform law will (in some cases already have) also modestly increase the cost of employer-sponsored coverage, including the rule that family plans cover young adults up to age 26 and regulations making certain preventive benefits available with no cost sharing. There is no free lunch.
We do know that O-care will require coverages in ALL plans that were not necessarily a part of all plans before. From what I've read, O-care will NOT allow different premium rates based on age. That means that younger people will have to pay for some of the older people's "lunch". And healthier people will be paying for some of the "lunch" for those with pre-existing conditions.
Are these premiums going up or down? The difficulty answering this question is that the 2013 to 2014 comparison is not apples-to-apples. Health insurance premiums are driven by a complex mix of forces: who buys coverage (i.e., the risk pool), what is covered (i.e., the benefit package), and what factors may be used in setting premiums (e.g., age, sex, health).
I think this is what you are referring to, Buzz. This author says that the cost for the "new" coverage should be "similar" to the plans that will no longer be available.
but caps on covered costs (like the “Basic and Essential” plans available in the New Jersey market until the end of this year) will no longer be permitted. But premiums for the newly available catastrophic plans will likely be similar. While comparable in price, catastrophic plans are quite different than bare-bones coverage. These plans will have more cost sharing up front, such as high deductibles, but will have good coverage for high-end expenses that come with major illness.
If B&E purchasers switch to a catastrophic plan, their premiums will not change much (although arguably they will have better coverage should they get very sick).
Those who are ineligible for the catastrophic plan (i.e., over age 30) or prefer more comprehensive benefits will likely see somewhat higher costs. Current purchasers of standard plans, who currently number about 43,000, some of whom pay over $1,000 per month, will no doubt have a range of good plan options with much lower premiums.
I agree with you Buzz, that the Townhall author extrapolated figures that are not mentioned in the original article that he cited.
As I read the original article, the young people may pay more & get slightly better coverage in the event of serious illness. By requiring the higher front-end out-of-pocket, I'd guess the insurors' actuarial stats indicate that the occurrence of serious illness will be of minimal risk (as a group), so there is some actuarial basis for the serious illness coverage. The older, sicker people should expect to stay the same or pay less.
It also does mention that there are 100,000 individuals involved in the "young" group, and a bit less than 1/2 that # in the "older" group, so those numbers also help balance the actuarial figures.