One of the leading arguments against the healthcare reform bill championed by President Barack Obama is that it will increase health insurance premiums rather than make coverage more affordable. However, because the Affordable Care Act will attempt to make healthcare costs more fair across the spectrum of the American population, premiums will increase for some Americans while others will see their costs drop because of federal subsidies.
Beginning on January 1, 2014, health plans will be required to cover a minimum level of benefits regardless of the whether the customer wants them, women and men will be charged the same premium rate, unhealthy people will be charged the same as healthy people, and younger people will have to pay premiums closer to what older people pay. As a result, premiums will increase between 40 and 60 percent for people who had previously purchased bare-bones plans with high deductibles and meager coverage. When the health insurance exchanges open for enrollment, they will be forced to upgrade to policies that offer a minimal level of coverage.
A survey of premiums in six states, conducted by the nonpartisan research firm Center Forward, found that premiums could increase most significantly for young, healthy men.