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Seek facts, not spin, on Obamacare

If there was any Indiana resident still on the fence about the new federal health care law, news that insurance premiums on the state's exchange will rise by an average 72 percent very likely shoved them clearly to the critics' side.

Some were quick to point out, however, that the Indiana Department of Insurance's estimates played fast and loose with averages.

Given the political spin applied to Obamacare, Hoosiers would do themselves a favor to seek out neutral voices in learning how the new law will affect them.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is one of those. Some key points from the foundation:

•The exchanges referenced in the state's dire prediction would be limited to the new health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges. "Beginning in 2014, Marketplaces will serve primarily individuals buying insurance on their own and small businesses with up to 100 employees, though states can choose to include larger employers in the future," according to the Kaiser Foundation.

Individuals buying insurance on their own currently amount to about 3 percent of Indiana's population, many of the newly eligible will qualify for a federal subsidy. The Kaiser figures show a 47-year-old non-smoking male with a wife and household income of $35,000 would pay only about 30 percent of the premium for a bronze-level plan. As with most employer-sponsored plans, the exchanges will offer more costly plans with more generous coverage.

•Employer plans in effect in March 2010 are grandfathered. "In order to maintain its grandfathered status, a plan cannot reduce or eliminate benefits to treat particular conditions, increase employee cost-sharing (including deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payments) above certain thresholds, reduce the employer share of the premium cost, or change insurers," the Kaiser Foundation notes.

Hoosiers owe it to themselves to take the time to look for good information about the Affordable Care Act.

On the Web

The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a spin-free take on the new federal health care law: