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Healthcare Reform Reality Check

Why I’m Frustrated With Obamacare

Let me correct that.  I’m pi$$ed.  Here’s the thing, for a while now I’ve been proud of this administration’s signature achievement in pushing the healthcare mandate through because it means so many people can now get coverage.  Previously, if you had a pre-existing condition then you were either denied coverage or forced to pay high premiums just to get health insurance

However, over the last few weeks, it’s become apparent to me that much of the new mandate hadn’t been ironed out and communicated effectively to the people it affects: everyone.

Politics aside, the White House’s communication to the public on the realities of the law has been tragic.  Let’s not even get started on the troubled website or the fact that younger people like myself have to pay much higher premiums, especially if we’re childless.   But even with that revelation, I was still OK with paying a bit more to help subsidize the cost to those who may not be able to afford it.

What ticked me off was seeing new reports that the White House has been less than truthful about being able to keep my existing plan if I like it.

The White House finally admitted Monday that President Obama is breaking his promise that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it under ObamaCare.

It’s true that there are existing health-care plans on the individual market that don’t meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney, referring to plans nixed under the sweeping new law. NY Post

What are the minimum standards?

Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
Emergency services
Hospitalization (such as surgery)
Maternity and newborn care (care before and after your baby is born)
Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
Prescription drugs
Rehabilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
Laboratory services
Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
Pediatric services – Healthcare.gov

Now don’t get me wrong, I think having minimum standards is great.  But one of the key selling points of the law was that we’d be able to keep our health insurance and effectively, access to our doctors.  Now we’re being told that we may not get to keep our plans, lose our doctors and forced to pay higher premiums

For example, I am unmarried with no plans in the near future to be pregnant so I don’t need maternity coverage at this time.  However, if I chose to get a plan with maternity coverage, then I’d need to get a maternity rider which would cover expenses associated with the pregnancy and birth of the child.  This comes at a higher cost.  If I am understanding this new issue, I will be required to get coverage that I don’t need, lose access to my doctor and pay a much higher premium.

What’s more, a growing number of consumers are shocked to discover that the law has caused them to get hit with massive premium increases, lose their doctor or simply get dropped by their insurance company. NY Post

To check things out, I went to eHealthInsurance to compare plan premiums for today, October 2013 vs starting in January 2014. In my state, combined with my age/sex/non smoker, pre-Obamacare, premiums start at $44 and I have access to plans with a $500 deductible via PPO. Starting in 2014 when the new government healthcare plans kick in my PPO plan would start at $202 with deductibles starting at $2500. I don’t qualify for a subsidy.  And my preferred plan is no longer an option.

I am being patient, even compassionate about how difficult this must be with so many hands in the pot and even stirring said pot.  But I think what’s being missed here is the effect these issues will have on the American people.  We were sold one thing and now it’s a whole new ballgame.  And, at the end of the day, it comes down to dollars and cents for many people with bills to pay.  You can’t sell one thing, get elected, re-elected on it and then totally admit now – ooops, we lied.  Not cool.  Frankly, I am disappointed in how they’ve handled this from the marketing, communication and now funky roll out of the plan.

I think it’s time to go back and check out a few things regarding my current plan.  I’m not certain that it covers the minimum standards as required by the new healthcare mandate.  This could mean having my plan cancelled and losing access to doctors that I actually like.  Oy vey!



You know if John Stewart starts flaming the White House, they’re in trouble.

Anyhoo, what say you?  Are you aware of how the new healthcare mandate will affect you?  Will you receive higher or lower premiums?

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