Knowing that more Americans have healthcare coverage now than ever before should make people feel pretty good about Obamacare. However, if you're one of the millions of chronically ill patients receiving healthcare and drug coverage through the online health care marketplace, you may not feel as good about now.
According to a recent report, individuals struggling with a chronic illness are on average paying two times more for prescription drugs through Obamacare as they would with workplace insurance coverage. The study was published in a recent edition of Health Affairs Journal and shows a huge disparity between out-of-pocket drug costs. Patients taking common mid-level medications for a chronic condition like asthma or diabetes are paying roughly $300 more annually per prescription on Obamacare than they would with workplace insurance.
The news of this study comes as no surprise to many with the popular topic of rising drug costs being in the spotlight for presidential candidates. Although the numbers are shocking, the study offers a few reasons why they may not adequately represent the problem. For most health care marketplace plans, patients must meet a deductible before gaining drug coverage that makes medications go uncovered until it's met. With employer-sponsored insurance plans, medications are usually exempt from being applied to their deductible and are covered right from the start.
One of the main selling points for Obamacare was that it was affordable health care for everyone. In order to keep the plans affordable, drug coverage was limited in order to reduce the plan premiums. This may look good to many shopping around for health care, until they need an inhaler once a month.
Health care is a very complex topic. Issues with plans and coverage may be best discussed with an elder law attorney. If you have questions about your health care law, your providers or how to assign a health care surrogate, speaking to an attorney may help.
Source: Healthcare Finance, "Sickest patients pay more for care with Obamacare compared to employer coverage," Oct. 6, 2015