Thursday, December 11, 2014

Obamacare Woes and Foes

Don't know why, but there seems to be a lot of complaining about Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, on facebook in the last few days. Must be the time of year when renewal notices go out from the insurance companies and everybody sees that their policies have gone up--just like they have for the past 25 years, annually. But people apparently have this notion that they're not supposed to go up anymore.
    I can't really get through to a lot of people that those raises are often in large part due to their bosses' greed. If everyone in a company has insurance and that insurance goes up $25 bucks a head per month and the boss chooses to pass that whole thing along, well, he can blame it on Obamacare but the real reason might be that he/she just felt like passing the whole thing along.
   Then there are some policies that phase in or out or change their structure and that can cause them to rise pretty markedly. If that happens, people ought to see what new services are included and if they don't want them, change policies.
   Then there are states where only the federal system is set up--as in about 27, I believe--and those states don't have the same robust competition among insurance companies that a lot of the states with state insurance exchanges do, so those policies will go up more than normal.
   But overall, what a lot of people are not seeing is that until the advent of Obamacare, unless you were paying for the best of the best policies--$30 grand a year, more or less--you had annual caps on the amount of insurance a company would pay toward your medical bill. And when you hit that cap you were on your own. Which means you pay from that point on. That makes medical bills the number one reason for personal bankruptcy in the US.
   But if your medical problem is long term, the hospital might just toss you out--then you're broke and dead.
   And once you lose that first policy because of your illness, you can't get another because of that pesky pre-existing condition. So when you need it most, you don't have the insurance to cover those needs.
   Under Obamacare, there are no annual caps, so you won't go bankrupt and lose your home if you have insurance and get sick. You won't get tossed from the hospital and die because you have no care.
   Under Obamacare you can't be turned down for a policy because of a preexisting condition. They got to take you.
   Under Obamacare, your insurance company has to be able to prove that it is spending an actual 80 percent of the monies they take in on actual medical care. Prior to Obamacare I think--could be wrong but close--it was often less than 50 percent.
   So I'm trying to get these people who are complaining about the cost to see the benefit. It's like that half-empty glass thing. The negative ninnies are seeing the glass half-empty, rather than seeing how much more champagne they have left to drink. Mazeltov! Down the hatch!

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