Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The not so affordable Affordable Care Act

After weeks of anticipation and anxiety, we finally received our health insurance options for next year. And by options, I really mean, limited forced changes that I didn't want. I need to start with a disclaimer that I am not a fan of our current costs and plan. I don't like the high premiums and high deductible. I don't like that ALL of our costs are out-of-pocket until the deductible is met each year. And I don't like that we had about a 30% increase in our premiums last year "in anticipation" of the Affordable Care Act's implementation. 

Lie number 1: 
"At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Aug. 11, 2009, President Barack Obama repeated a line he's used many times in describing his health care proposal: 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.' " 
Our family insurance has been moved from a policy that we purchase through the insurance company, to a limited number of options within The Exchange.

Lie number 2:
In this YouTube video from Obama's first presidential campaign, he claims that premiums will go down for the average family. Not true for our family. Our premiums are higher. 

Lie number 3: 
In this speech to the American Medical Association, Obama says that "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Not true for us. We are forced into a PPO, preferred provider organization. The insurance company is not sure at this time which doctors or hospitals are going to be in our provider "network." 

So let's talk about networks for a moment. Did anyone consider the effect on parents with college students? If the only option given to our family in The Exchange is an "in network" and "out of network" PPO, where does your out-of-town or out-of-state adult child go for their care? So, what's the solution? I am so glad you asked! Either you insure your child with the understanding that the maximum out-of-pocket is UNLIMITED. Or every adult child that is out-of-network needs to get their own policy (costs more). And if they do not do it (or parents do not do it for them), guess who gets the tax penalty? 

Adult children under 26 even if they are married, even if their employer offers a plan, and even if they are not dependent can be/will be on a parent's policy. 

Our health savings account will be cut from $6450 per year maximum contribution to $2500 per year. 

There is a Medicare tax increase for self-employed. Can I direct this money to go to my parents? Their premiums were doubled. It might help them a little bit. 

To get a subsidy, I must be poor or a member of Congress. The income used to determine subsidies is gross income of ALL household members combined (1040 Line 22), not AGI (1040 Line 37) or any other income level. So, let's pause for the math lesson. If I have a business that makes $1000 per year. It costs me $900 to run that business. My health insurance subsidy is figured on $1000, not the actual $100 that I make after expenses. And if I have adult working children in my household, I must include their income as well. 

For those of you rejoicing that there are differing rates for smoker v. nonsmoker, I would bet that the fat v. skinny table is coming soon. 

For those of you who voted for this, I don't hate you. You were lied to as well. I was just savvy enough to realize it. But when I told you this would hurt me, hurt millions of people, and not help the situation, you made fun of me. You told me I was an extremist. And you mocked me by saying "death panels" and "conspiracy theorist" and "racist." If anyone would like to publicly apologize to the same extent that you publicly ridiculed me... GO