Obamacare Deductibles: What You Must Do to Prepare

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, poses a threat to many Americans. Although Obamacare provides health coverage, the policies it offers have fairly high deductibles, forcing people to prepare financially to cover many of their own costs.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at Obamacare deductibles and what you need to do to be ready for them. Dan notes that bronze plans with minimal coverage have average deductibles above $5,000, which is much more than the $1,100 deductibles for a typical employer-provided plan. He also notes the danger of bronze plans in that unlike higher-tier plans, bronze coverage doesn't allow for cost-sharing subsidies under Obamacare. Dan concludes with some tips on how to save for out-of-pocket costs, noting that the impact on hospitals Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH  ) , Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC  ) , and HCA Holdings (NYSE: HCA  ) could be devastating if patients with Obamacare coverage can't afford deductibles, leaving hospitals with the same uncollectible bad debt they'd hoped to eliminate under the Affordable Care Act.

Get smart about Obamacare
In order to learn everything you need to know about Obamacare, make sure you have all the facts. Fortunately, you can learn the critical concepts you need to know in a special free report called "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare." But don't hesitate, because it's not often that we release a free guide containing this much information and money-making advice. Please click here to access your free copy.

Read/Post Comments (15) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 10:40 AM, quacker wrote:

    aca was a try and fail to be good for the people it was going to be good for the insurance companies, but not enough people have or will sign up in the near future.

    my son who doesnt have insurance did some math, he is better off with out insurance cost versus what he gets after he pays his FINE/TAX

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 11:20 AM, ISHKANOTA wrote:

    obamacare is a joke. not enough youngsters are gonna sign up, and the ones that do wont be able to pay the deductible much less their premiums. healthcare is now the #1 most expensive item in the fed budget. i know alot of people that dont even know about the law. they have no clue and dont care either way.

    the community organizer is way over his head. this reform of healthcare should not of been a huge all in one partisan package. each item should have been separate to vote on in different bills.

    its obviously done this way to have the hidden agenda's that have been lied about made into law.

    I 100% blame the educated people that voted for obama. you people make me sick, after one term you still voted, without really knowing who or what your voting for,

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 11:22 AM, ISHKANOTA wrote:

    worst administration ever, communism in America. you people that voted twice for this guy, are to blame.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 11:38 AM, bkmobal wrote:

    Just look at it this way. You are paying your health care cost plus someone else maybe two other people. So your deductible would be yours plus someone else. Simple math.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 11:44 AM, OldVet72 wrote:

    It's not that people who have gone through the initial parts of the enrollment process "think they singed up but didn't", it's because you have to go through the entire process to find out what you will have to pay. Once the ones who make more than is allowed for a subsidy see that $10,000 per year premium for a $5K deductible, they don't finish the process until they see what they have to give up ( like food and clothing) to be able to afford it. Just wondering when that "Affordable" part will kick in.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 2:44 PM, RickLV wrote:

    Socialist Democrats were so eager to pass this lemon that Pelosi urged Democrats to "pass the bill to find out what's in it" then Democrats rushed the website without testing it. Left wingers have ALWAYS been dopes, but I have never seen them so eager to impose their will on everyone.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 2:45 PM, RickLV wrote:

    Socialist Democrats DO NOT UNDERSTAND capitalism. Take a market-driven economy and FORCE Americans, under IRS penalty, to buy a product they already couldn't afford before, that includes coverage they don't want or need, at a higher price... What could POSSIBLY go wrong???

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 2:52 PM, RickLV wrote:

    Think about why Republicans are squabbling and Democrats aren't; because Republicans are concerned about America's future and they have different ideas about how to fix it. Democrats will just stupidly march lock-step right over a cliff.

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 4:11 PM, culturevital wrote:

    Understanding what we must do to prepare for Obamacare is a very complex task because it is virtually impossible for consumers to calculate the costs associated with health care plans as there is no place to look up and compare prices charged for health services. For more insight, Google - culturevital, then click Society page 10 to read, "Economics of Health Care" and "Calculating Health Insurance Plan."

  • Report this Comment On December 14, 2013, at 6:45 PM, joegoldner wrote:

    The deductible that you have to pay before you are covered are extremely expensive. For the cheapest plan, the bronze plan you could be talking about a 12,000 dollar deductible, most people can't afford this. Remember no Republicans voted for this monster so when it comes to 2014 and the time to vote it was the democrats that destroyed your health coverage.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2013, at 4:19 AM, energizedat54 wrote:

    Here are the raw details:

    After scrutinizing the new plans offered by Care-first BCBS in Maryland, I have learned that at ages, me - 54 and my husband - 61, respectively, our periodic prenatal visits are free of charge and our blood work for prescriptions is essentially uncovered. That is until we reach our deductible of $3,500.00 per person and pay a $655.00 monthly premium. That quote is defined as the "Bronze" Obamacare PPO Plan offered by Carefirst in MD.

    Just last week, I visited my doctor in Carroll County, MD for a prescription renewal, one for which he ordered blood work. The blood work cost me $370.00 and the doctor's visit $120.00. I paid $490.00 for a $20.00 prescription that I've been taking for ten years for a Hypothyroid condition. I'm absolutely positive that the doctor has no idea how much that blood work cost.

    Needless to say, I've requested my entire 30 year medical file in order to scrutinize the history of the blood work, the test results, etc. to negotiate directly with the doctor and these labs before I go complete broke.

    Managing my little condition speaks nothing of the major conditions, with which many suffer. The order of the day is one of taking charge of your own medical care and managing it yourself. That's where we are, like it or not.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2013, at 4:51 AM, kelahjoe wrote:

    @joegoldner: the republican congress had to and did help pass this BS, so the repub's are just as guilty, be smart, it is a game in Washington to see who can win, they are all crook's, we survived the BUSH regime we can make it with this one, the Mexican's will get it straightened out, because we don't have the gall.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2013, at 7:40 AM, clutch1958 wrote:

    Wrong, kelajoe. The Democrats controlled Congress. This was rammed through on a completely party line vote. Scott Brown's vote would have killed it in the Senate, so it was passed before Jan.2011, before Brown was sworn in. You Democrats own this. Just look up the voting record.

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2013, at 7:42 AM, clutch1958 wrote:

    Oh, I almost forgot-look at the smiles on the Democrat's faces during the signing ceremony-the failure wiped those smiles off their faces. If it was so great, why are you trying to blame the GOP?

  • Report this Comment On December 15, 2013, at 8:31 AM, Stevegarry22 wrote:

    Send a message to the insurance company's and odumbo.

    Cancel your health insurance, it doesn't cover anything anyway. If everyone cancels odumbocare will go broke!

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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