To be honest I've been opposed to Obamacare on principle, I think it is inherently wrong for the government to force me to enter contract with a
private entity or face a penalty. SCOTUS failed to do it's duty ( I personally believe in my gut that Chief Justice Roberts was likely blackmailed)
and through some novel and convoluted legal reasoning turned a fine into a tax. Which IMHO usurps the Constitution in that all revenue bills should
originate in the House of Representatives. But that's water under the bridge and further proof for any that need more that all three branches of the
US Government are beyond hope of redemption in our current system.
That being said, I really don't trust either party enough to take their word for how Obamacare will affect me and those I care about so I started
I have pretty decent insurance through my employer, and something strange happened this year. Our benefit year until this year ran from June 1st
through May 31st of the following year. This year however, instead of the policy renewing for a full year it only runs through Dec 31st. We'll have a
second open enrollment in the next month or so. I've had the sneaking suspicion that the new benefit year is Obamacare related, but our company
purchased another company and merged operations and also went public this year, and concede that either of those events might cause a change in the
benefit year. I kept last years health enrollment information and the same information for this seven month benefit year. I'm extremely interested to
see the differences in cost both from last year as well as this seven month benefit year. The first thing I'm going to do is compare costs. I have a
pretty good idea of yearly premium increases and I get a statement on what portion of my insurance my employer covers, so, if my employer contribution
remains the same, any increase of premium beyond its average increase is what Obamacare will be responsible for.
So, still waiting on final info for how Obama care affects me, time to think about the spouse. My wife works, but my insurance is better, so we use my
insurance for our family. I wasn't concerned about this changing, but with the news about UPS dropping coverage for spouses who have available
coverage from their employer I'm kinda concerned about something like that happening to us. Either dropping her or forcing us to pay a penalty for not
using her plan. We'll know soon enough I think.
As of right now, Obamacare's affect on those that live under my roof is mostly unknown, we'll have a little more clarity soon I hope, but my feeling
is it is going to be neutral to slightly more expensive than things are now.
My mother in law has medicare, no affect there. My mom and step-dad fall under VA and CHAMPVA which meet minimum requirements to be considered
coverage, little concerned about my mom and CHAMPVA, but that program had problems before Obamacare.
Next I got to thinking about my brother (single no kids mid thirties) and aunt (married early sixties), neither of whom have insurance currently. So,
I went to healthcare.gov
and started poking around. My brother has been back in school most of the year and has
only worked part time most of the year. My aunt is a housewife whose husband is already on Medicare with no reportable income beyond Social Security.
On the site I linked to earlier there is a link to a subsidy calculator
from the Kaiser
Family Foundation. So I ran the numbers for my brother and to be honest, with the subsidy, it's not that bad of a deal for him. He'll have better
access to healthcare than he does now for a pretty decent cost, as long as providers accept the insurance he'll be able to purchase on the exchange.
People in my aunt's circumstance are where we are going to see the most angst and horror stories from though. They live in a state that did not expand
Medicaid and it looks like the subsidies only kick in at amounts over the Federal poverty level, as Medicaid will cover those under the poverty level
(up to 138% Fed Poverty Level (FPL)in states that expanded). Depending on what their total income is, there are three possibilities: apply for
medicaid (might be turned down due to Georgia not expanding Medicaid), if the income is right around the FPL then it will be a pretty damn affordable
$320/ year for a Silver plan after subsidy, or worst case $7,068/year if she can't get medicaid and falls under the FPL in which case since they can't
afford that much it will leave her in exactly the same position she is now only with a fine/tax to pay.
Now, the numbers I'm playing with are not final or official, I'm really interested to see what the plans are going to look like on the Federally
managed exchange next Tuesday. More importantly, I'm interested in seeing what providers are actually going to take the insurance offered through the
exchanges. It does someone little good to have insurance but have to drive 30-50miles to find a provider.
It seems like there are still tons of questions about the true affects of Obamacare will be on us immediately. I personally am not buying the
hyperbole from either side right now. The GOP's Obamacare is TEOTWAKI is ringing hollow after looking into it, and the Democrat's "This is the
greatest thing evah" isn't much better. What the plans look like with what they cover and who you can see will be pretty interesting come October 1st,
and I'm going to reserve preliminary judgement until I see that, and final judgment until fully implemented. I vehemently disagree with the exemptions
granted to certain companies, unions, and governments on principle.
My biggest concerns aren't as much as who and what will be covered as the affects on those low income people who don't qualify for Medicaid in states
that didn't expand that program yet earn less than the FPL. I did the math on a 21 year old non-smoker who works 29.5 Hrs/week at minimum wage. (
$7.25*29.5*52=$11,121yr ) According to the calculator I posted earlier, in a state that did not expand Medicaid, such a person would not be eligible
for any subsidy and would pay around $2400/yr for insurance. I would have rather paid the fine at that age and take my chances. Another big concern I
have is the impact the 30 hr rule is going to affect hiring by medium to large employers.
edit on 26-9-2013 by jefwane because: (no reason