Obamacare through the federal website
May not be the right fit for everybody
What else can be done? What are the options?
On Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) kicked in for real. The health insurance marketplaces known as “Exchanges” opened, and were supposed to begin enrolling people in participating government-subsidized Individual and Family Health Insurance Plans. They stopped working almost immediately and very few, if any, enrollees were actually able to sign up.
As of this writing, there is a lot of negotiating going on at the Capitol to determine exactly how the law will be affected in terms of appropriations and its funding through the coming year. No one in the public knows whether Obamacare will continue as it stands.
“As it stands” is an important phrase here, because the way it currently stands is NOT the way the law was written. Among other things, it has been modified (apparently at Obama’s whim) to grant exemptions to certain corporations, as well as an across-the-board delay of the Employer Mandate which required all employers with more than the equivalent of 50 full-time employees to offer qualified group health plan to all employees.
The fight to defund the implementation of the law is going in Washington, D.C., but those individuals who do need health insurance, whether it’s because they lost their existing plan because of an Obamacare-induced rate increase or some other reason, have their own way of not funding the new law. To put it in simple terms, they can fight it by not spending their money on it.
The success of Obamacare hinges mainly on how many people enroll. In order for it to have sufficient funding to cover its own costs, it has to have a high number of younger and/or healthier people who do not require a large government-subsidy to pay for their premiums. That is, people who are financially better off and who, because they are relatively healthy, pay in far more in premiums than they take out in medical expenses. If these people decide against playing the game and purchase a plan that’s outside of the Exchanges, there simply won’t be enough money being put into the Exchange plans to pay the medical expenses of those who are unhealthy and/or need a large subsidy to cover their health plans. For Obamacare to work, there needs to be a high number of people who are paying into the Obamacare plans and not taking much out in medical expenses, so that they are, in effect, paying for those people who do take out quite a bit more than they pay in. If you are in that position of being relatively healthy and doing well enough financially, Obama and his supporters need you to buy into their system so that you’ll pay for those who are taking out significantly more than they’re paying in. They’re counting on ignorance of health insurance to cover the costs of this system.
So, how do you get insurance to protect yourself against catastrophic loss in the unlikely event of a major medical event without buying into the system? Easy – you get a plan outside of it. They’re still available (although many of them will be gone by January 1st), and depending on the route you go, they can be FAR less expensive than an Obamacare plan. In fact, for a family of four with both adults in their 40’s, a cheaper Obamacare plan can cost around $1200 – not exactly “Affordable.” However, for around $400, that same family can get good coverage and protection from a 12-month Short Term Medical plan that has a similar deductible and co-insurance. This is about one-third of the Obamacare plan. The total annual “tax penalty” for not getting an Obamacare-compliant policy is still less than the family would save in premiums in the first month alone. The choice in this case is simple. In addition, with a small fraction of the savings in premium costs, that family could get a supplemental policy that would all but eliminate the deductible and co-insurance of their Short Term Medical plan, making it, in many cases, BETTER overall coverage than the exchange plan.
To sum it up: Obamacare may have some provisions that will be helpful for a small percentage of Americans, but the way the law is written and implemented, it will be a hardship for many of those people who are healthy and financially sound. For those individuals and families, the choice is clear – don’t fund it. Take your money elsewhere and protect yourself.
Stay Well, Be Happy,