If You Like Your Worthless Health Insurance, You Can Keep It

By Karen

Obama’s doing such a good job himself of walking back the requirements of his Affordable Care Act, Republicans don’t need to waste any more time trying to repeal it.

Now Obama’s letting people continue to keep policies that don’t meet minimum ACA coverage requirements — possibly for as long as 3 more years. Why? To make it appear he wasn’t lying when he stupidly said, “If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.”

Here’s the problem with that: Those policies are cheap because they were sold to people who either 1) Think they’ll never get sick, or 2) Didn’t understand how little insurance they were buying.

I’m talking about those hapless schmucks we see on the news occasionally after something catastrophic happens to them and they find themselves bankrupted by medical bills because their el cheapo insurance won’t pay their claims.

Insurers make damn sure their policy documents are so voluminous and opaquely worded that the average consumer needs a Ph.D. in insurance jargon and unlimited time and patience to wade through all the conditions and exclusions.

That’s precisely why insurers need to be kicked out of the healthcare equation in favor of a simpler system. But I digress…

Letting people keep garbage health insurance does them no favors. It just keeps shoveling ill-gotten gains into insurers’ pockets. Between high deductibles and copays and avoidance of the “no-cost” preventive care mandated by the ACA, these premiums must be mostly gravy for insurers because little gets paid out in claims.

On a personal note, Anthem showed me a wisp of mercy to keep me out of the exchange on my March renewal, raising my premium from $392 a month to $413.75, a modest 5.5% increase. But since 2011, they’ve raised my premium 66%.

My policy has a $2,250 deductible, but meets ACA requirements (which Anthem has used to justify hitting me with 15% and 20% yearly hikes since the ACA first passed donkey’s years ago).

I haven’t done 2013 taxes yet, so I don’t know if I can qualify for a subsidized policy on Healthcare.gov. But even if I do, I’m afraid to take advantage of any savings and lose the dubious security of my current policy.

At the lengths he’s taking to protect insurer profits at the cost of people getting better access to medical care, Obama seems poised to pull the rug out from under himself and gut the ACA. That means insurers will once again have free rein to continue raping and pillaging the American healthcare system.

I hate the policy I have, but Obama’s made me afraid not to keep it.

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10 Responses to If You Like Your Worthless Health Insurance, You Can Keep It

  1. Zappa's Mom says:

    I just popped in to say hi because I FINALLY can!!! With weeks of back and forth (lugging a 9000lb. computer in a cab to Apple) and countless of calls to Comcast,they’ve sent me a new modem and I have Internet access!!!

  2. adele says:

    ZM, Dorothy and I have wondered how you’re doing. A very belated Happy New Year, and an early Happy St. Patrick’s day.

  3. Zappa's Mom says:

    Hi Adele,hi Dorothy…….Happy early St. Pat’s to you as well! I think I spoke too soon,stinkin’ Comcast

  4. MorganLF says:

    I have a lot to say. My company closed last week. Prior to closing a large high end manufacturer of high end appliances, Viking, bought the company and kept us on for a month while we transferred the business to their location in Georgia.

    As a result I lost my very good benefits and am now covered by an insurance company that Viking uses, they are located in Mississippi.

    My COBRA is a mere 440 a month, except not one of my doctors, hospitals, x ray technicians , care providers ever heard of these people. The out of network benefit is 60% after a one thousand dollar deductible. So I am unemployed that means NO income and I have to spend 6 thousand dollars a year for insurance that has no providers in my state to recoup a possible 60 % ?!!

    I went to the healthcare marketplace and got a quote of 800 per month with no available tax credits, even though I have no income.

    I applied for Medicaid and was told there is no time frame on the determination. So it could take the state months/years to process that claim and if I don’t pay the COBRA I can’t afford for a policy that covers nothiinfg I will be I violation and possibly fined!!

    The greedy health care providers in NJ reacted to the marketplace by doubling their policies. I am sure that is not the intent of the law. What the f is going on here? Why am I a tax paying benefit having hard worker getting squeezed in this? Certainly I should be qualified for a tax credit but in this country unless you have a dependent and illegitemate kid or two no dice. No earned income credit for head of household nada. However if I ran about and dropped a kid every few years the benefits would flow.

    No regard that for the entire life of my working carreer I have paid and paid and paid. If I had two or six kids the world would be my oyster, well at least in New Jersey. So come one all come all get knocked up because you can’t plan you business. I’ll pay for you…

  5. adele says:

    Morgan, this really sucks — no other word for it. I believe this would be futile, but have you checked AARP? I suspect they specialize in Medicare supplements (I know you, unlike me, are not old enough) and Medicare advantage programs, but perhaps they have something or some suggestions..

    Can someone tell me what is so bad about Single Payer, again?

    In the meantime, Dorothy and I both send good thoughts.

  6. catsworking says:

    Sorry I’m late responding. I didn’t get the usual notification of any comments.

    Morgan, sounds like you are caught in the same vise as Virginia, with a Republican governor who didn’t lift a finger to make the ACA work, leaving those 50-65 royally screwed. I’m surprised your COBRA premium is so “low,” although maybe not, since the coverage sounds so shitty.

    I did my taxes last weekend and found that I’m several hundred $$ too “wealthy” for a subsidy, and TurboTax quoted $515 as the best I could do on the exchange. I didn’t even look at the coverage. At $413 a month, Anthem’s got me trapped for another year, with a $2,250 deductible.

    Yesterday I watched a hearing Senator Bernie Sanders held March 11 on single payer (yes, it’s FINALLY being discussed). He brought in experts from several countries who have it, and they did a wonderful job of making the case. A Dr. Martin from Canada particularly squashed some numb-nut Republican named Burr. I was cheering her.

    Vermont seems to be leading the charge for single payer, and I think as the horror stories about the ACA keep rolling out, and younger people finally start paying attention and realize they’d be better off with single payer, it’s going to gain traction. If you want to watch the video or read transcripts, here’s the link:

    http://www.help.senate.gov//hearings/hearing/?id=8acab996-5056-a032-522e-e39ca45fcfbe

    Hey, ZM! I got Comcast late last year and I’ve been having problems with it myself. Bastards!

  7. MorganLF says:

    Guys thanks for your comments. It’s a shit place to be. I agree the harm in a single payer system is….??

    I’m in a net work of no providers. How the fuck does this happen? I guess I’m a douche, always paid always filed taxes. Never claimed any nutty deductions except my mortgage ….now lesse I could get a few pets claim them, adopt a few stray kids ….by adopt I mean take foster benefits for them then starve them …hmmm .

  8. adele says:

    Happy St. Pat’s to all.

    Morgan, a little gossip to perhaps get your mind off your troubles for a moment, but what do you think of L’Wren Scott hanging herself with one of her own designer line scarves? I was pretty shocked, but reminded that whatever we think we know about celebrities, we know nothing at all.

  9. MorganLF says:

    Adele,
    And they keep saying she hung herself from a doorknob figure those logistics! I keep wondering how high were those doors? I could try but my doorknobs would laugh at me.

    Mick has a record of love em and leave em starting with Marianne Faithful, bought her a house..put up her mum then took it away when he was done , understandably cause she went went down a rabbit hole of drugs and he never had time for that.

    They were not together L’wren ( and he was prob annoyed by her douchey name)and even tho he is a wrinkly 70 year old satyr,,I think it freaked her . They say she had debt like 6 mil I believe she asked him for a bail out but Mick is a stingy guy and that was a turn off for him in his palatial French. Chateau.

    Always the businessman is Mick.

  10. catsworking says:

    I haven’t followed this story because I think Mick Jagger is beyond ugly and you know what I think of that type of music. But how the hell do you hang yourself from a doorknob? What did she do? Bounce up and down until she broke her own neck? She doesn’t sound too bright. What’s wrong with a nice classy overdose of pills and booze?

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