Got Our Obamacare, How About You?

Last Sunday on a whim I decided to try the website again. After making several failed attempts during October I had reluctantly given up trying for my Obamacare, until a recent NPR story that said the website was working better than ever.

Inspired and hopeful, I created an account, logged in and within one hour, Jim and I were signed up with Obamacare. Here’s what I discovered:

  • If you meet income eligibility requirements (we did), you can choose between receiving a monthly health care subsidy from the Feds, or applying all or part of that subsidy toward your federal income tax payments for the following year. We chose the monthly subsidy since we’re fairly disciplined at saving up for our yearly self-employment tax bill.
  • The insurance industry is still running the show. As Texas residents, Jim and I could only choose among plans offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas — which happens to be our current provider.
  • The individual health insurance plans being offered aren’t really any better than the ones an “insurable” person can get on the open individual insurance market. The difference is the plans cost less because of Obamacare’s government subsidies being offered to Americans.
  • Blue Cross charges the government over $350 a month for the same horribly lacking plan that we already have, but it’s been costing us $290 each month.
  • The healthcare subsidy decreased our monthly premium to $99 a month.
  • I have no more pre-existing conditions applied to my insurance. This is big for me.
  • To receive the $99 monthly rate, we had to give up our current plan which offered 100 percent coverage after meeting a $11,500 deductible.
  • Our Affordable Healthcare Insurance Plan is good in every state. It consists of a $12,000 family deductible with 90% coverage after we meet the deductible (we are responsible for the remaining 10 percent, up to a maximum yearly out-of-pocket amount of around $12k). Each of us is subject to a $6,000 deductible before receiving any benefits other than the federally mandated basics, such as a free yearly physical.
  • We could have chosen better health insurance plans that included provisions like $30 doctor visits and lower deductibles, but all of them would have cost us more than we’re paying now.

In the end, the Affordable Healthcare Act seems to mostly benefit the uninsured and uninsurable citizens of America. Jim and I are still paying for a plan we never want to use and will only go to the doctor if we’re bleeding to death. Sure, we’ll have a lower monthly bill but that difference will just go into our retirement accounts; since we all know that by the time Jim and I retire, the Federal Government is going to be broke after covering the ridiculous premiums charged by the insurance industry!

I still think Obama is awesome. But as American’s we’re all still at the mercy of the insurance industry. Nothing’s really changed.

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