John Boehner’s premiums spike under Obamacare
By: Jonathan Allen
November 24, 2013 05:44 PM EST
House Speaker John Boehner’s health insurance premiums will nearly double — and his deductibles will almost triple — as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to figures provided by his office at POLITICO’s request.
Don’t expect to hear the Ohio Republican complain about his personal price spike, but he’s one of many older lawmakers and aides who are just finding out how much more they will have to pay as they move from the old Federal Employees Health Benefits system to coverage in the District of Columbia’s new health insurance exchange, as required by a provision in the Affordable Care Act and subsequent federal regulations. That will be true, too, for some consumers across the country who are transitioning into the exchanges.
“The Boehners are fortunate enough to be able to afford higher costs. But many Americans seeing their costs go up are not,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. “It’s because of them that this law needs to go.”
Boehner and his wife, Debbie, currently pay a monthly premium of $433 for family coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield, with a deductible of $700, according to his office. Last week, the speaker began shopping for a new plan in the D.C. exchange, a search his office drew attention to by tweeting pictures of him trying to enroll.
This is what he found at the market: To keep a similar plan, the Boehners would have to pay $802 per month in premiums, with a deductible of $2,000. Instead, Debbie Boehner, who becomes eligible for Medicare when she turns 65 next month, will get coverage through the government’s insurance program for the elderly. She already had applied for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital care. When she adds in either Parts B and D, or Medicare Advantage, which acts to bundle the various parts of Medicare, she will pay between $350 and $400 per month in premiums, according to Boehner’s office.
The speaker, who is 64, chose to sign up for an individual plan with benefits similar to those he receives under FEHB. That will cost him $449 per month in premiums, and the policy carries a $1,000 deductible. So, he’ll pay more next year for himself than he paid this year for both himself and his wife — and, together, the Boehners will still pay roughly $800 per month in premiums with deductibles in the $2,000 range.
While many younger lawmakers and aides — and many more folks outside the Capitol — will see their premiums go down under the Affordable Care Act, some House Democratic aides have complained in recent days of sticker shock for older employees who have begun shopping for new coverage under Obamacare, and a handful of lawmakers in their late 50s and early 60s have privately noted that they will see a huge spike in their premiums.