How much did health insurance cost before Obamacare?

I’ve been stuck on this fact. Individuals and families who did not have health insurance coverage prior to Obamacare had every opportunity to research available plans online, compare coverage and purchase coverage. No government websites were ever needed. But now that they have the new pretty government sites, what is the cost difference between pre-Obamacare rates and today?

It’s damn hard for an individual like me to do something like this – especially since the Obamacare exchanges require you create an account and log in before seeing any available plans and rates – so the good folks at Heritage put together an issue brief on Oct. 16.

Aside from the issues associated with actually purchasing health care, once an individual gets a quote for health insurance on an exchange, is the premium higher or lower than before?

Isn’t that the real question people should be asking? Why isn’t the main stream media asking this question? Certainly we’ve heard White House spokespersons mention anecdotes of individuals paying less in premiums than they did before, but they never provide details about the coverage, deductibles or if they were over-paying before when they did not have to. Back to Heritage, who ran the before and after numbers as best they could. I looked for some left-wing think tank paper that refutes Heritage’s information, but they are silent. My emphasis is in bold.

Individuals in most states will end up spending more on the exchanges. It is true that in some states, the experience could be the opposite. This is because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection, as is the case of New York. Many states, however, double or nearly triple premiums for young adults. Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, and Vermont see some of the largest increases in premiums.


 [Sorry, I’ve lost what I’ve written in the rest of this post and will try to re-create some of it with bullet points.]

  • Five states have lower premiums, but 11 states have premiums that more-than-doubled.
  • This rate comparison does not include the premium increases that were a direct result of federal mandates that went into effect in Sept. 2010 – three years ago. Those include coverage for “children” up to 26-years-old, elimination of pre-existing coverage clauses, and removal of lifetime caps.


I’d like to hear from anyone whose individual coverage premium costs have dropped and the plans before and after provided the same coverage with the same doctors and health care providers in network. I don’t think any are out there, and if there are some, there are not many.

What it comes down to is this. Obamacare supporters claim the system might not be perfect, but now at least “millions of people now have access to coverage.” That is a total lie. Those people certainly did have access to health care insurance and health care, they just didn’t want to or could not afford the coverage costs. I’m arguing – and the current facts support my argument – this is a marketing campaign to make people think they are getting a better deal than they would have before. Certainly some will now buy into the individual system, but without the federal government’s involvement and excessive mandates, I’m willing to bet the coverage costs would be a lot less than they are now.

Obamacare is a sales-job. Think about it, they have been trying to sell this idea to us for years yet still the majority of Americans don’t think it’s any good. It’s all about marketing and getting people to buy into a program without providing any of the real details and how it will effect us in the future.

[Sorry if this post seemed to fall apart at the end. I had some really good commentary in there, but it was lost due to a computer problem, and I just don’t have anymore time today to fix it.]

Posted in ,

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Dimsdale on October 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Is Massachusetts missing because we have already been whacked with price hikes due to Obamacare lite, Romneycare (afyer the state libs worked it over)?

  2. Gary J on October 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    ?funny how when I was 26 I finished school,the military and had gotten married. Damned fool to have taken my diaper off before age 26.

  3. bien-pensant on October 21, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Between taxes and health care, American families are going to be working for the company (read: Obama’s) store with NO chance of keeping any money.
    You think a lot of people are on SNAP now? Just wait.
    This goes back to one of the all-time great lies: the Government is here to help you.

  4. cranky yankee on October 21, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I’ve gone to ?and compared it’s plans with access ct and obamacare is twice as much for me at 61 yrs old. ?I’ve done my 27 yr old stepson and his rates triple. ?Affordable my butt.?

    • sammy22 on October 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      I don’t get it. The table posted by Steve says something completely different. So which is it?

    • Dimsdale on October 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      The table is composed of average increases/decreases, not absolute values.

  5. sammy22 on October 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    So what good does it do, Dims?

    • Dimsdale on October 22, 2013 at 9:11 am

      ?bamacare or the table?? Well, according to the table, ?bamacare does no good with the exception of a few places where the costs has already skyrocketed.?? Costs have increased in all but five out of 48 listed states and two of those decreases are marginal at best.? So, unlike the flowery promises of the president and his supporters, we are NOT going to see our healthcare costs go down, but rather, increase far beyond the levels of the “evil” private healthcare insurance providers.? You know, the ones Dear Leader has to call in to fix what will be the first of many painful problems that they are unnecessarily creating.

    • sammy22 on October 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Looks like we all should move to CO, NY, NJ, RI, OH… and stay away from the likes of FL, TX, GA, the Carolina’s….. And what does “average” mean to patently non-average American?

    • Dimsdale on October 22, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Pretty simply, according the the chart (and those are the facts, by the way), “average” means that your costs for healthcare are almost certainly going to shoot up, despite the hollow promises of the president.
      What does it say to you?

    • Steve McGough on October 22, 2013 at 11:31 am

      What “good” does it do? All along, this administration and those in support of this law said it would be better for EVERYONE. They said it would “bend the cost curve” down. None of that is true.

      The subject of this post was specific to the costs before and the costs after and the FACT that people COULD BUY insurance before, and most likely at a lower rate than what is available now. This was a sales job, a marketing effort to reinforce the “need” for the federal government. It’s hogwash, and people have been brainwashed.

  6. sammy22 on October 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    The quoted research also had the following paragraph just above the Table :
    “This analysis represents the change in unsubsidized rate levels. The purpose of this research is to provide further details on the changing premium levels across the country. With this in mind, it is true that many people will have the opportunity to lower their personal monthly costs within the exchanges if they qualify for subsidies.”

    • Dimsdale on October 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

      And the part that isn’t mentioned is the fact that the cost of your medical insurance benefits will now be listed on your W-2’s, supposedly to verify if you have the mandated health coverage.? Now ask yourself why they would need the amount vs. a simple yes or no verification (which is what MA currently does for “Romneycare”).? Could it be simply to gauge your potential subsidy, or whack you with a tax when the goal post change yet again on what is a “cadillac plan”??? That is what the unions are ticked off about.? How long before the rising costs of providing “free” healthcare to people leads to yet another wealth redistribution move?? Why didn’t they simply provide subsidies before ?bamacare if the supposed goal is to lower costs?
      Your trust in the untrustworthy is unfounded and amusing.

    • sammy22 on October 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

      So many things that could have been done and were not done for decades! And now you even have something “good” to say about Romneycare?

    • Dimsdale on October 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Well, if you want to call that good, then so be it.? Given the Dem controlled legislature in this state, I have little confidence that they won’t take the federal W-2 data and parlay it into a means of increased taxation.
      But back to the point: what do you think this little W-2 tidbit is for?


The website's content and articles were migrated to a new framework in October 2023. You may see [shortcodes in brackets] that do not make any sense. Please ignore that stuff. We may fix it at some point, but we do not have the time now.

You'll also note comments migrated over may have misplaced question marks and missing spaces. All comments were migrated, but trackbacks may not show.

The site is not broken.