Healthcare Premiums Rise Again

It's open enrollment season for healthcare plans under Obamacare, but consumers are likely in for some sticker shock. Congress failed to repeal or replace the nation's seven-year-old healthcare law, leaving rising costs and uncertainty surrounding the market. In fact, the Silver plan, which is the most popular under Obamacare, is 31 percent more expensive this year, while even the Bronze plan is 22 percent higher. That translates to an average increase of $489 per month this year for Obamacare premiums.

The good news is there are other options. "It's kind of like the old Lee Iacocca challenge from back in the late 70s when he was saving Chrysler--he said if you can find a better American-built car, buy advice to people is if you can find a better insurance plan, buy it," says Shaun Greene, senior vice president of Agile Health Insurance, which seeks to find cheaper alternatives to Obamacare.

Greene says one of the best alternatives to Obamacare is one he uses himself. Last year, he and his family dropped Obamacare to join what is known as a healthcare sharing ministry. "Now I'm paying about $521 per month, when my Obamacare Bronze plan was going to go up to about $1,500," he tells KTRH. "So literally I'm saving a thousand dollars a month, and it's better coverage."

There are many versions of cooperatives like the one that Greene and his family now use, so he recommends exploring all options before enrolling in a high-priced plan that might not be right for you. "If you Google healthcare sharing ministry, many alternatives will pop up, and I would encourage folks to look at those alternatives," he says.

 Another option is a short-term health insurance plan, offered through companies like Agile, which can fill gaps in coverage for less than $100 per month. "Make sure you do your due diligence and find a plan that works best for you, and understand what the risks and the downsides are," says Greene.

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