Last October I shared my Health Insurance story with some comments on the Affordable HealthCare Act of 2010. I’m continuing the story here.
I am self-employed & for the last ten years I have purchased my own medical insurance through one particular insurance company. The policy has been changed at my initiative on a couple of occasions ensuring it cannot be grandfathered into the new system. My current plan serves our family of five (spouse and three school-age kids) well. We carry a $1,500 deductible per person with a family maximum of $5,000 out-of-pocket. We each receive a free wellness check up every year with related laboratory work charged at only 20% of cost outside the deductible. This policy currently costs us $417 a month and was continued from last year’s renewal through November of this year until the point when the provider is no longer permitted to offer the plan as it does not comply with the Affordable Care Act.
As expected, I have recently received a letter from the provider regarding a replacement plan for December 2014 onward. Maintaining the $1,500 deductible the new plan is offered to me at a monthly cost of $1,314.18, or, in other words, a 315% increase in premium. I am told that my new plan will include coverage for ten Essential Health Benefits however I will have to wait until open enrollment for 2015 plans begins on November 15th (fifteen days before the expiry of my existing plan) to find out what these are.
I note from the provider’s website that I can reduce this cost to only $942 per month if I accept a $12,000 family out-of-pocket maximum.
Based on my projected income I may be eligible for a tax credit subsidy, (provided through the tax code to assist lower income families to obtain healthcare insurance) however I live in Virginia and the recent Halbig case (see article at http://kff.org/health-reform/perspective/the-potential-side-effects-of-halbig/) has questioned the eligibility of residents of states that use the federal exchange, rather than establish their own healthcare exchange. Early in 2014 the Republican controlled legislature vetoed Democrat Governor McAuliffe’s endeavor to set up a state exchange by expanding Medicaid, a move that it has been suggested would cost Virginia millions of dollars in the long-term.
As someone who has always looked after myself and my family, I am also deeply concerned that such a subsidy would make me into a government dependent!
While I appreciate the concern of the present government to assist more people to get health insurance they have failed to produce a series of measures that addresses all the issues. The ACA appears only to make healthcare more available. It does not address the underlying issues in the escalating cost of healthcare. Where are the controls on liability and where are the controls on actual cost?
As I stated in my post last year (https://thefullerreport.com/2013/10/23/affordable-healthcare/) The White House currently carries the following statement on its website at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/middle-class/making-health-care-more-affordable
“The Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, gives middle class families better health security by putting in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more choice, and enhance the quality of care for all Americans”.
Based on my present experience I want to ask what is Affordable about the consequence to me of the Affordable Care Act?