For young and uninsured, Obamacare impact sets in
Katy Irwin, 28, a freelance graphic designer, was a supporter of President Barack Obama, voting for him the past two elections. Being uninsured, she was excited about the prospects of having health insurance under Obamacare for the first time since she was 26.
But when she recently went to the Affordable Care Act's registration website, it wasn't the much-discussed glitches that had her disturbed. She found her annual health-care-related costs would be more than three times the amount of her average annual expenses, using a calculator on HealthCare.gov.
(Read more: Obamacare site down again; data hub inaccessible)
Of course, Irwin would now be insured, making it difficult to directly compare costs. But as a young American only looking for minimal coverage and working freelance, she sees the cost as a major impact.
"My budget is already maxed out as tight as it can be right now. I don't have much disposable income," she told CNBC. "I guess I'll have to cut out my gym membership, my healthy eating—the very things that keep me out of the hospital to begin with."
Until now, Irwin has taken a self-described, "high-risk, high-yield" approach to her health, typically visiting the doctor three to five times a year. Each visit runs her $109, covering basic lab tests, X-rays and consultations. Adding it all up at the end of the year, Irwin said her annual health-related expenses are about $650, composed of multiple one-time payments per visit to the clinic.
That's changed under Obamacare.
According to an expense calculator on the Obamacare website, Irwin said she'll now pay $2,512 after the government tax credit subsidy. And that's not including co-pays, which Irwin predicts will amount to roughly $300, assuming she'll continue to visit the doctor three to five times a year.
All said and done, Irwin said Obamacare coverage adds an annual $2,162 to her health-related costs.
"Being mandated to pay? I was hoping for something, better coverage than what I'm getting on my own now," she said. "And it looks like I'll be paying for a service that I may never reap the benefits of in a year, because I'm young and healthy.
"And If I actually do, I may be paying co-pays on top of that."