Why Is Health Insurance So Expensive After Obamacare?

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was passed in 2010 with the goal of making healthcare more accessible and affordable for all Americans. However, many people have found that their health insurance premiums have increased since the law went into effect. In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why health insurance has become more expensive after Obamacare.

Increased Coverage Requirements

One of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act was to ensure that all Americans had access to comprehensive health insurance coverage. This meant that health insurance plans had to cover a wide range of services, including preventive care, maternity care, and mental health services. While these coverage requirements have been beneficial for many Americans, they have also led to higher premiums for some.

Insurance companies are required to cover more services than they did before Obamacare, which has led to increased costs for them. These costs are then passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. In addition, some insurance companies have chosen to exit certain markets altogether rather than offer plans that meet the coverage requirements.

Individual Mandate

The individual mandate, a key component of Obamacare, required all Americans to have health insurance or face a penalty. The idea behind the mandate was to spread the risk of healthcare costs across a larger pool of people, thereby lowering premiums for everyone. However, some people chose to pay the penalty instead of purchasing health insurance, which meant that the risk pool was not as large as anticipated.

In addition, the Trump administration eliminated the penalty for not having health insurance in 2019, which further decreased the number of healthy individuals in the risk pool. This has led to higher premiums for those who continue to purchase health insurance.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions or charge them higher premiums. Under Obamacare, insurance companies are required to offer coverage to everyone, regardless of their health status.

While this has been a positive change for those with pre-existing conditions, it has also led to higher costs for insurance companies. Individuals with pre-existing conditions often require more healthcare services, which means higher costs for insurance companies. These costs are then passed on to all consumers in the form of higher premiums.


The Affordable Care Act has made healthcare more accessible to millions of Americans, but it has also led to higher health insurance premiums for some. Increased coverage requirements, the individual mandate, and the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions have all contributed to higher costs for insurance companies, which are then passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. However, there are still options available to those looking for affordable health insurance, including shopping around for the best plan and taking advantage of subsidies and tax credits offered under the law.

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