New virtual health insurance markets called Exchanges are the centerpiece of The Affordable
Care Act. The premise was they’d produce lower premiums.
“Premiums? Wait a minute. You mean health insurance bought through an Exchange will still
That’s a comment I’ve heard often.
In fact, the health insurance available through state and federally operated Exchanges will
resemble what you buy today.
Except, say experts, it will be even more expensive. New coverage mandates ‐ “Essential
Benefits” ‐ will add to cost. And the requirement that insurers take all applicants in 2014,
regardless of pre‐existing conditions, causes something called adverse selection. That will push
rates higher too.
One last thing. Exchange premiums will not have the tax favored status of employer sponsored
group health plans.