Mar 10, 2014

What is Obamacare, and is it Affordable? Let's Discuss Rationally

I don't get into politics a lot, as I'm moderate on my political views, and rarely teeter too conservative or too liberal. But I've been interested in Obamacare after hearing the back and forth on Facebook, the radio and the news, because I have great insurance. As someone who knows a few things about health insurance, I was curious how this new health care act measures up to the insurance I have. Right now I pay $90 a month, $45-bimonthly, for my coverage. I have a $250 deductible with reasonable copays ($10 or $20 at max) and get have great coverage on prescriptions. I can't imagine anything being more affordable — so what is being offered to those of us who don't get benefits from our jobs?

Let me say that I believe it's important everyone gets access to affordable healthcare. I will crusade for this right. But it's our duty as Americans to look into what we hear, and not listen to what our friends say, or what our parents tell us, or what we hear on the radio. We should investigate for ourselves to learn the facts. I got online and looked up as much as I could, from the most biased sites to the most blatantly anti-Obamacare sites, and everything in between. Here are the facts. 

Unfortunately, the Affordable Healthcare Act is not affordable at all. People who never had access to insurance before are raving about the low cost, but what you pay per month is only a small component of what health care is. Many of the deductibles offered are outrageously high, without offering complete coverage. 

For example, it's been reported that, as of 1/1/2014, the maximum out-of-pocket for a single individual is $6,000+ before insurance kicks in; it's $12,000+ for families. In layman's terms, that means you pay that much money until the insurance company starts to start contributing. That is UNREAL. I don't know a single person my age who, single or not, will be remotely close to meeting their deductible in a year, excluding a catastrophic injury or illness. You will, probably, pay out of pocket the entire year. It takes me a few months to break my $250 deductible, considering I barely get sick and don't have the need to hit up a doctor every month — or even every two or three months. I can't fathom having to reach $1,000, let alone $6,000. 

There are levels of coverage as well, which we're all used to — pick a plan that meets your budget and get coverage accordingly — but in this case, you might pay $123 a month for insurance (a higher tier plan), to only receive 80% coverage for a $6000 deductible. Madness. 

There are penalities as well for not having insurance... read more about that here. I do understand this is so that people who do have insurance aren't forced to pay for those who don't.

We have to find a more manageable way to offer healthcare to everyone in this country, and it can't be by blindsiding them with outrageous deductibles and penalties. We need a system that is on the patient's side, not the insurance company's side.

Do some research, but these articles explain everything well:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-15/obamacare-deductibles-26-higher-make-cheap-rates-a-risk.html
http://www.marketplace.org/topics/your-money/health-care/obamacare-premiums-what-price-leaves-out
http://medcitynews.com/2013/10/decoding-the-world-of-healthcare-reform/


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