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ObamaCare rates trigger more sticker shock

 

Andy Mangione, who lives in Louisville, Ky. with his wife Amy and their two boys, is doing the same thing millions of people are doing --trying to figure out how much his insurance will cost under ObamaCare.

Before the exchanges opened, his insurance company said his rates would soar. But now that there are subsidies, he's been trying for days to find out how much he would get.

"To logically compare plans, I've been calling them every day since October 1st," says Mangione, "several times a day on some occasions. Sometimes enduring 45, 50 minute holds, half an hour holds."

Although Kentucky officials were unable to give him a firm number on his subsidy because of repeated ITproblems, they did refer him to a Kaiser Family Foundation site, which suggests his subsidy will be $414 a month -- on a premium of $868.

"What I'm concerned about is our doctor visits, our emergency room visits, and what I'm paying in my premium," says Mangione.

The problem is the plan closest to what he has now will mean a 24 percent increase over his current payment-- after subsidies.

And his co-pay for emergency room visits almost tripled -- from $125 to $350 -- an important factor for a family with two young boys.

"They're climbing trees, they're falling out of trees. They're running around falling off their bike, they're very active. They're not unlike any other 8 and 10 year old boys," their dad says.

The Mangiones found one plan with smaller premiums, but their doctor was out of network, ultimately making it more expensive for them.

They're not the only ones with sticker shock.

Members of Congress say constituents have been complaining, as they recently described some of their mail.

Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., read from one constituent who said "I remember our president saying the new health care bill will reduce costs. I have my health care renewal forms, and the premium has increased about 15 percent, a $700 deductible is added, and my co-payment has increased."

Rep.Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., also read letters from some of his constituents.

"Mike from Hickory saw his premiums rise from $388 to $650. Phil from Forest City saw an increase, even though his policy didn't change, saw an increase of 42 percent."

Some Fox viewers in Alabama also wrote in. Although they asked their names not be used, one couple about 60 years old sent detailed information about their rate increases, which will add 82 percent to their annual health care costs. At the same time, their deductibles increased by a third.

For people on the individual market who have some catastrophic condition or illness, ObamaCare will bring benefits, but critics say their needs could be addressed at much lower costs to everyone else.

As far as the rollout is concerned, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Friday that "the problems with the exchanges are systematic, profound and indisputable," and he called on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign for what he called "gross incompetence."

Jim Angle currently serves as chief national correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1996 as a senior White House correspondent.