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Obamacare shock: $12,600 deductible, 40 percent co-pay, zero competition

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Many Americans shopping for better health insurance deals promised by the two-week-old Obamacare system are instead being slapped with rate shock, including savings-sapping deductibles and co-pays, according to multiple reports from around the country.

For some able to get the problem-plagued Obamacare website to work, the so-called “deals” the system is coughing up around the country include $12,600 deductibles, co-pays of up to 40 percent, zero competition, and rate hikes of 260 percent.

The huge cost increases that some Obamacare applicants are seeing are feeding the effort in Congress to change the system and delay implementation until January 2014.

"This is why we've been working so hard to dismantle and repeal this bill, so that we can begin to pass step-by-step reforms that transform the health care delivery system by putting patients in charge, giving them more choices, and reducing the cost of health care so that more people can afford it,” said Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander.

The top Republican on the Senate health committee has collected several official and media reports of the Obamacare horror stories Americans have encountered so far. They include:

-- A $12,600 deductible. CNNMoney reported that one family “found a bronze-level plan for roughly $357 a month, after their subsidy, which they could swing. But it comes with a $12,600 family deductible.”

-- Enormous rate increases. A research group found that a 30-year-old male nonsmoker “will see his lowest cost insurance option increase 260 percent.”

-- Some who already buy their own insurance are receiving cancellation notices -- and offers for expensive new policies. The Christian Science Monitor reported on a North Carolina family who had been buying Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance for $380-a-month. “BCBS is offering them a new plan for three times the cost, $1,124.50 a month, still with an $11,000 deductible,” reports the paper.

-- A California couple said that the Obamacare policy suggested to them included a 40 percent increase in their doctor's office co-pay. “Our co-pay skyrocketed from 0 percent to 40 percent and the maximum out-of-pocket increased an additional $2,300,” according to a letter in the Fresno Bee.

-- Kaiser Health News found a lack of competition in some pockets of the country. “Eighteen percent of counties have only one insurer offering plans and 33 percent of counties have only two insurers competing.”

— There is little uniformity to premiums charged around the nation. “For instance,” Kaiser also reported, “Cigna is offering 50-year-olds one of its midlevel plans for $614 if they live in Flagstaff, Ariz. That same plan, contracting with different hospitals and doctors, will cost $428 in Phoenix and just $395 in Nashville.”

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.