Why are Obamacare subsidies so low in Pittsburgh compared to the rest of the country?
Due to Highmark’s decision to offer two separate low-cost Community Blue plans in the Silver category of the Obamacare exchange, subsidies are much lower than they would be had Highmark only offered one such plan. Community Blue plans are less expensive because they do not have access to most UPMC facilities. As a result, access to UPMC facilities will not be affordable (as defined by the law) for people relying on subsidies. This is yet another aspect of the Highmark-UPMC war that has already caused so much damage to our region. Click here for a full explanation.
One of the impacts of the Highmark-UPMC feud will be greatly reduced subsidies to people in the greater Pittsburgh region who enroll in health insurance via the new Exchanges. This is because the subsidy levels will be benchmarked to the premiums of Highmark’s Community Blue plans, which offer lower premiums in exchange for a limited network that excludes most UPMC facilities. Click here for the Tribune Review’s article on this finding by Citizen Power.
On Thursday September 26th, 2013 representatives from various health access groups came together at the Community Broadcast Center to talk about how the new healthcare & insurance plans will affect individuals and businesses. Essential Pittsburgh Forum
Listen to Citizen Power Board President David Hughes and Former Executive Director Titus North talk about health insurance changes on Chris Moore’s live call-in show on KDKA radio on September 15, 2013. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Aren’t insurance markets more efficient than the government?
Markets efficiently distribute many goods and services, but health insurance is not one of them. More than any major industry, health insurance is best left to the public sector. There are two main reasons. Click here for a full explanation.