Andy and Amy Mangione of Louisville, Ky. and their two boys are just the kind of people who should be helped by ObamaCare. But they recently got a nasty surprise in the mail.
"When I saw the letter when I came home from work," Andy said, describing the large red wording on the envelope from his insurance carrier, "(it said) 'your action required,benefit changes, act now.' Of course I opened it immediately."
It had stunning news. Insurance for the Mangiones and their two boys,which they bought on the individual market, was going to almost triple in 2014 --- from $333 a month to $965.
The insurance carrier made it clear the increase was in order to be compliant with the new health care law.
"This isn't a Cadillac plan, this isn't even a silver plan," Mangione said, referring to higher levels of coverage under ObamaCare.
"This is a high deductible plan where I'm assuming a lot of risk for my health insurance for my family. And nothing has changed, our boys are healthy-- they're young --my wife is healthy. I'm healthy, nothing in our medical history has changed to warrant a tripling of our premiums.
"Well I'm the one that does the budget,” said his wife. "Eventually I've got that coming down the pike that I gotta figure out what we're gonna cut what we're gonna do, to afford a $1,000 a month premium."
Their insurance company, Humana, declined to comment, but the notice to the Mangiones carried this paragraph:
" If your policy premium increased, you should know this isn't unique to Humana -- premium increases generally will occur industry-wide.
"Increases aren't based on your individual claims or changes in health status," it continued. "Many other factors go in to your premium including: ACA compliance, including the addition of new essential health benefits."
ACA, of course, is the abbreviation for the President's new law, the Affordable Care Act -- which for the Mangiones will be anything but affordable because the law adds a new tax on every insurance policy and requires a list of additional benefits the Mangiones didn’t want to pay for.
Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for American Health Insurance Plans, which represents insurers,explained that "for people who currently choose to purchase a high deductible, low premium policy that's more affordable for them, they are now being required to add all these new benefits to their policy.
That," he says, "is also going to add to the cost of their health insurance premiums."
This comes amid a huge debate over whether ObamaCare will raise or lower insurance rates.
For the Mangiones, that answer is abundantly clear.