A Big Problem for Obamacare: How Much Americans Can Afford to Pay
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A Big Problem for Obamacare: How Much Americans Can Afford to Pay

The amount of money that Americans say they can spend on health insurance each month is far less than the monthly cost of the cheapest health care plans.

More than half of Americans said that they could afford to spend just $100 or less a month on insurance, according to a new poll by HealthPocket.

That’s a big problem for people who need to buy insurance through the Obamacare exchanges without a subsidy. The average monthly of a silver-level, mid-tier plan is $364.91, and even a basic bronze-level plan costs $311.17 per month.

This is the second year in a row that most Americans cited $100 as the most they could pay per month for health insurance. “This affordability ceiling illuminates the continuing divide in privately purchased health insurance between the subsidized and unsubsidized,” Kevin Coleman, HealthPocket's head of data and research, wrote in a blog post about the poll results.

Most Americans who get a federal subsidy to buy insurance or who receive subsidized health care through their job should be able to fit premiums for individual insurance into their budgets. Individual health plans through work cost an average of $94 per month, and seven in 10 Americans receiving a federal subsidy will pay $75 or less out of pocket for their premiums.

Of course, premium costs tell only part of the story when it comes to health care affordability. At employer-sponsored plans, average deductibles will spike 12 percent in 2017 to nearly $1,500, with deductibles at smaller companies averaging more than $2,000, according to a recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation