Archive for Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kansas premiums lower than expected under new health insurance marketplaces, report says

September 25, 2013


— Most Kansans will pay less than the national average for health insurance coverage offered under the Affordable Care Act’s new online marketplaces set to open next week, according to a government report released Wednesday.

The Obama administration released the new data and sought to ramp up efforts to educate the public about the ACA as critics in Congress continued to hammer the law and try to defund it.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a leading critic of the federal health care overhaul, said that the marketplace won’t be able to provide affordable coverage without far more competition.

Kansas is one of 36 states where the federal government is setting up or supporting the online marketplace, known as an exchange, which aims to help uninsured residents find health care at reasonable prices. Data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows Kansans will have an average of 37 qualified health plans from which to choose, compared to an average of 53 for consumers in all 36 states.

In Kansas, more than 355,000 people are uninsured, including 15,200 in Douglas County.

The HHS report provided potential costs and federal subsidies in the states with federally run marketplaces. Kansans using the marketplace will have an average of 37 health plan choices, while the average for the 36 states is 53. The plans will be categorized as “gold,” “silver” or “bronze.”

The average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan in Kansas will be $260 per month, according to the report. The national average will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections based on Congressional Budget Office estimates.

“We are excited to see that rates in the Kansas Marketplace are even lower than originally projected,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Nationally, those silver plans will range from $192 per month in Minnesota to $516 per month in Wyoming.

The overview of premiums and plan choices said that about 95 percent of uninsured people eligible for the marketplace live in a state where their average premium is lower than projections. But the report did not reveal copays and deductibles that are important considerations when considering what type of coverage to select.

The report shows that a 27-year old Kansan who makes $25,000 per year will pay $107 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145 per month for the second-lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in Kansas with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost $144 per month.

The new online marketplaces, opening for business Tuesday, will enable consumers to find out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side by side based on pricing, quality and benefits.

The CBO estimates the insurance marketplaces, which can be used by individuals and small businesses, will enroll 7 million people next year. Six million are expected to qualify for federal subsidies to purchase insurance. No one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

The enrollment period runs through March 2014 and coverage starts as early as Jan. 1.

“In the past, consumers were too often denied or priced out of quality health insurance options, but thanks to the Affordable Care Act consumers will be able to choose from a number of new coverage options at a price that is affordable,” Sebelius said.

Critics say many will pay more than they would have otherwise.

Colyer, a physician, for example, said there are far cheaper rates available now from private online marketplaces. A search on one site showed 17 health plans from three companies, requiring participants to cover up to $5,000 a year in expenses, with lower premiums. One cost less than $41 a month.

“It’s pretty obvious that the exchange is very expensive for Kansas,” Colyer said.

Colyer said many Kansas consumers still will pay relatively high premiums for coverage on the exchange, particularly if they’re young and healthy. Even with dozens of plans available on the exchange, they will be offered by one of only two companies in 82 of the state’s 105 counties.

Colyer and other critics worry that mandates in the 2010 federal law overhauling health care will not only mean expensive exchange plans but boost costs in plans offered outside exchanges, in turn limiting choices everywhere.

But experts say the plans under the health care law have broader coverage and more protections for policyholders.

A key component of the ACA is expansion of Medicaid eligibility. The federal government has promised to pay the full costs of expansion for three years and then reduce that payment to 90 percent of the cost. Estimates have indicated expansion of Medicaid could cover approximately 88,000 additional low-income Kansans. Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-led Legislature have refused to do that in Kansas, saying they do not believe the federal government will come through with its funding promise.


Bob Forer 4 years, 7 months ago

So much for the right wing garbage about the high costs. I am sure that families currently with no insurance will be very happy with the prices available.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

Just go to, they've already got an incredibly dishonest article about how this is really a bad report for Obama because premiums are higher than the currently available policies. Of course Forbes ignores that the "cheapest" plan available today also basically doesn't cover anything and the "cheapest" plan under the ACA will be as comprehensive in its benefits as the most expensive plan.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Actually, according to Buffet himself, he supports the ACA, and says that his comments suggesting otherwise were taken out of context and misrepresented.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 6 months ago

I appreciate you posting verification, though odds are good it will be ignored by most. :(

oakfarm 4 years, 7 months ago

So you think paying 5% of a poor person's income, for a third-class plan that doesn't even cover all the out of pocket costs is something to be 'happy' about? Better yet, paying the fine -- er, tax -- will be cheaper than the policy, so there goes that theory of happiness.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

Of course the fine is cheaper than the policy but that's not really the point now is it. It's cheaper to not eat than it is to eat but everyone pretty much agrees that's a poor way to stay alive. Whether you like it or not it's the same with health insurance, yes it's cheaper to not buy it but it's very possible that, that decision leaves you one sickness away from bankruptcy.

Also I'd love to see your statistics showing that it will be a "third class plan." From what I understand the plans will actually be quite robust (incidentally that is why the article I mentioned on Forbes is pointing out the higher premiums).

mccabetherealtor 4 years, 7 months ago

What were they paying for their previous policy? Oh yeah, that's right, they didn't have one. Which meant you were paying for their health care. If that is a choice available to all of us, would you mind paying for my health care, too?

appleaday 4 years, 7 months ago

So you think the current system is better where uninsured people (many times these folks are the "working poor") only seek care when they get really sick, usually in emergency departments or hospitals? The EDs or hospitals that provide this care then either pass these costs on to insured patients by increasing their costs, or these patients wind up receiving Medicaid after they've eaten up their income and savings trying to pay for health care and the taxpayers foot this bill (for sick care) at a much higher cost than what preventive (health care) would have cost in the first place.

avarom 4 years, 7 months ago _Act

All you pay much higher premiums, so you might want to quit ahead of the game. Some employers are cutting hours to force their employees' to Obamacare. 30 hours is considered full time. Also, spouses are losing their healthcare.... if their husband for example is the primary, to force you to Obamacare. Better to have some healthcare, then none at all.

BigDog 4 years, 7 months ago

What will the true monthly premiums be before the tax credits? This will give people the true cost because you don't get tax credits until you file taxes the following year.

So the person/family will pay the full premium throughout 2014 then file for the tax credit in 2015. As a result, a person/family will have to be able to afford the monthly premium upfront. Stating it will be $107 per month after tax credits is a bit misleading for an individual looking at this as an option.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

Wrong, the credits are advance payment meaning you get them when you pay for the coverage. What will happen is that you will plug in your income when you apply and the Exchange will verify the income you claimed. Then you will select your plan, the government will forward a check to the insurance company on your behalf equal to the tax credit monthly and you'll pay the difference monthly.

BigDog 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank you tigerarmy .... Hasn't been typically the way tax credits have worked for many programs.

Still wonder how much the actual premium is .... and deductible/copay for this $107 premium plan

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

I believe if you go to the actual report filed by HHS it provides the actual premium. The reason they focus so much on the tax credit premiums is because most people applying for coverage on the Exchange will qualify for a tax credit (a family of four making up to 90k a year can get a tax credit).

The deductible and copay will be high for the cheap plans obviously. However, the law does cap the out of pocket costs for a family plan at 11k per year (yes very high I know) and 6,400 for an individual. However the law attempts to deal with that as well. For those same families that can get a tax credit they can also qualify for cost sharing reductions. In that situation basically the government will pay for a certain percentage of any costs that go toward a deductible or coinsurance and the individual will make up the difference.

Also I apologize for leading into my previous post with "wrong" as I was typing it I said to myself "go back and change that" then I forgot. I know it came off as kind of harsh and I apologize.

Shelley Bock 4 years, 7 months ago

The civility of your last paragraph is appreciated.

Bob Forer 4 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for clearing that up. It's amazing how the right wing either makes up facts or are simply ignorant of the true facts.

Shelley Bock 4 years, 7 months ago

So, as the facts come forward, it can be asked why do Republican Tea Party types object to these changes. Is it because they see this as a mandated requirement for ALL Americans? Is it because the costs are so high? Because it's the only thing the Republican Party can generate as an issue? Is it because the advertisement industry needs more opportunities for "disinformation"? (Remember the Death Panels?) Or, because it places some significant limits on the income of the health care insurance industry?

But, then...the Koch Brothers are putting more of their money back into the economy.

I believe that there will be hiccups in the application of Obamacare, but if Republicans can focus on appropriate modifications instead of trying to damn the entire law, the US will benefit.

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

This IS their plan. This is completely their plan. If they were smart, they'd take credit for coming up with the idea and strengthened the plan instead of distancing themselves from it and trying to scuttle it.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

Goodness, imagine how well we could be set up for Oct 1 if the GOP had taken that approach. If we had 4 years of the two parties working together to strengthen the law and work out the kinks. If the administration could have been passing regulations through the 2012 election (without fear it would be immediately repealed following the election). It's almost depressing to think about.

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

Right? If the Republicans had instead taken credit for the idea (which really was their idea) and had campaigned on getting things done to improve and strengthen health care cost control via free market competition instead of doing everything they could possibly have done to sabotage the program and sabotage the economy, we'd ALL be so much better off. Shame on them.

sciencegeek 4 years, 7 months ago

The Republicans are against anything that comes from President Obama. Period. Even before he was sworn in. Remember Mitch McConnell's "first priority is to make Obama a one-term president" ?
As to why, the Republican National Committee sent out a CD in December 2007, which had a picture on the cover of the White House with the entire front lawn covered with watermelons.
Pretty well says it all.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

"Is it because they see this as a mandated requirement for ALL Americans?"

No, it's because it mandates that I give money to a corporation or pay a tax penalty. ALL Americans aren't my business.

Which is really funny because we always elect to get the better health, dental and vision policies through work. I'll buy insurance all day long and be happy right up to the point when I am told I have to buy it or pay the tax penalty. That really rubs me the wrong way.

"Is it because the costs are so high?"

The calculator informed me we would pay $1000/yr more for less coverage.

" significant limits on the income of the health care insurance industry"

Is it OK in America to limit an industry's income? How about a business's? How about a person's?

At a more philosophic level, the aca is another nail in your freedom's coffin. Why are you pounding harder?

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't generally text. It's a phone, not a typewriter.

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

Man, that's the best example I 've seen of the completely twisted thinking of the right wing nut base. You don't realize that you pay the money one way or another when so many people are uninsured. In spite of your super duper sovereign individual status, you are part of a larger society and the well being of the whole society affects you whether you choose to recognize it or not?

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

Don't mistake me for a right winger of any sort. I'm probably far to your left on many issues.

Yes, I know my money is paying either way. However, when I was paying for my own insurance and there emergency room visits, I didn't have to wait in line behind them at the doctor's office. I fully support providing money for basic health care received in an emergency room if the person cannot pay.

I don't feel the need to pay to treat your heart disease. Try getting a million likes on facebook so your dad will pay for it.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

The problem with that is that "basic health care" in an emergency room is a very expensive way to deal with it.

We're much better off providing that in other venues, like regular doctor's offices.

Why do you object to paying for heart disease?

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

I think the emergency room is fine. Yes, it costs a little more, but people aren't going to go there because they have a cold. They might go see their doctor for their cold and then we pay for that on top of any emergency room visit for a stubbed toe that might be broken.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, then I don't understand your use of "basic health care".

ER's are the most expensive places to go for health care, and they're not designed for "basic health care" the way most of us understand it. They're designed for emergencies.

Financially, it makes more sense to help people go to the doctor for routine health care.

Gregory Newman 4 years, 7 months ago

That is what Obama said from day one fix it. But I can't even afford the lowest rate even though my job pays half. I will risk being homeless behind healthcare. God forbid but I could negotiate my own repayment with the hospital rather than struggle making mandatory payments I can't afford. But what bothers me is that we all pay for illegal immigrants for their births at hospitals yet that is no issue.

chootspa 4 years, 7 months ago

We've never paid for the single birth of an illegal immigrant at a US hospital. Anyone born at a US hospital is a US citizen.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

Wow. Very nice. We can disagree about the aca, but that was beautiful.

I think it would have been more effective just to say "Anyone born at a US hospital is a US citizen.".

gatekeeper 4 years, 7 months ago

You have fun trying to negotiate repayment to a hospital. So many don't realize just how expensive a trip to the ER is. I had to go last summer (kidney issue) and just to be admitted to the ER, see a nurse and Dr. and have blood drawn was $12K. The CT scan (separate charge from ER charge) was over $3K. I was there for less than two hours. Thank goodness for my insurance or I would have been stuck with a bill for over $15K and didn't find out anything except "your're now stabilized and you need to see a specialist". Those specialist charges and the procedures they did were an additional $13K.

Having insurance meant I spent a total of $3500 out of pocket. Without it, would have been over $28K. It's an ongoing issue, so I could end up spending thousands every year if I didn't have insurance.

And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I can't be kicked out of my insurance plan and my pre-existing condition will be covered under any insurance I buy and I won't be charged an arm and a leg for having a pre-existing condition. If it weren't for this law, my husband could never leave his job because we'd lose the health care coverage for me. It's an ongoing condition that will require multiple visits with specialists every year and in the future, most likely surgeries.

People like you that have no insurance are part of the reason health care costs are so high. The hospitals end up writing off a lot of it and we taxpayers pick up the rest.

Paintstudio 4 years, 7 months ago

I just have to say I am one of "Those People" or "People like you" as I have read myself referred to on this forum. I first would like to say that some people that are insured are quite rude in how they reference this. I work full-time and am a single parent that does not have insurance provided by my employer. I am educated with a college degree and have a great work history. I would dearly love to have insurance, decent insurance!!! I have checked the rates for myself and I will pay out about 8-10% of my income to have really lousy insurance. I currently can at least go to the doctor and pay for a doctor visit if needed, but with the "Obamacare requirement of insurance" I would then be unable to afford to go to the doctor. I would pay the same amount in a co-pay that I already pay, but would be unable to afford it due to paying it to the insurance company instead. If you really want this to be fair, maybe employer's should have to provide an insurance allowance to employee's based on number of hours worked. Instead, we are seeing the reality already in my profession. Many employer's have decided they will just cut people's hours down where they do not have to provide insurance, causing less income for families. What I see happening is the insurance companies getting richer, the poor being exempt, and myself falling in the middle where I make just a little too much, but not enough! I would ask a little more respect for us uninsured, just because we are uninsured doesn't mean we don't work and pay taxes too!

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

"The CBO estimates the insurance marketplaces, which can be used by individuals and small businesses, will enroll 7 million people next year. Six million are expected to qualify for federal subsidies to purchase insurance. "

Just looking at the math; if 6 million are going to need government help paying for insurance out of 7 million, the one million left are going to pay for the subsidies? Or the debt of our nation is going to go through the roof...

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

The ACA is entirely self funded and actually generates a surplus and has a 100bn decrease in the deficit according to the CBO. There really isn't any response other than that to your comment.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

More accurately, the ACA is said to be entirely self funded, but there are reports from the CBO that do not support this assumption.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe it works only under common core math?

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

That's probably true because common core math is um . . . math and since it works in the real world of math your comment is snarky but accurate. You can't cite the CBO for saying one thing and then ignore the same organization that says something else because you disagree with that something else.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 7 months ago

Nominate tigerarmy for the best retort of the year on the LJW comment section.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

That's a deeply flawed graphic for a number of reasons. First it only measures the "outlays" and ignores the revenue producers in the law. Second of course the cost increases with time. Each new bar represents a different measurement period and everything (including health care costs especially) increases year to year. Finally, it's a different entity doing the measurement from the initial projection. The initial projection was conducted by the CBO and this graphic was conducted by the "republican side of the Senate budget committee" which has a clear bias.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

To use your own words: "You can't cite the CBO for saying one thing and then ignore the same organization that says something else because you disagree with that something else."

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

That wasn't a CBO report it was the senate arm of the budget conference using some CBO estimates so I can actually refute that report. It says right there on the graphic that its based only in part on the CBO and in part on Senate Republican Budget Committee estimates.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

"A Senate Budget Committee analysis (based on CBO estimates and growth rates)"

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't mean to be too nitpicky but you're ignoring the second part of the sentence when you say that. It's "based on CBO estimates as well as Senate Republican Budget Committee Projections.

gatekeeper 4 years, 7 months ago

thanks for trying, but it won't get through their head. He/she has drank too much of the kool aid and has Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck/Koch Brothers now thinking for him/her. Once the tin foil hat goes on, nothing else can get through.

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

Bil Kristol's business model for the Weekly Standard mandates that they report nonsense that puts the President in the worst light possible. Even if they have to lie to do it.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

The President does a fine job of putting himself in the worst possible light. He doesn't need any help in this regard.

down_the_river 4 years, 7 months ago

There is something left out here - "The report shows that a 27-year old Kansan who makes $25,000 per year will pay $145 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits."

That is the cost ONLY to avoid the fine, and if you don't use the coverage. If you fully use the coverage, the cost for this individual goes up to $578 per month, taking into account limits on maximum out of pocket costs. It's well beyond what a typical 27 year old Kansan has available as monthly discretionary income. While each individual makes their own decision, I could imagine many 27 year olds opting to go for the $250 fine rather than the $6936 potential costs. They'll have to declare bankruptcy either way if they suffer serious medical expenses.

We'll know the crucial enrollment numbers for young people in six months.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes out of pocket costs can be somewhat high under health insurance but our out of pocket maximums w/o insurance is what again, oh yeah infinity. Further, as I explained in my above post certain plans will have cost sharing reduction options available to help take some of the sting out of those high out of pocket costs. Few individuals eligible for a tax credit will be unable to get a cost sharing reduction.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 7 months ago

down the river. I think you have gone off the logic beam. If the hypothetical person in your scenario were to experience the kind of health problems that would add up to $433 in treatment costs (with insurance), that person would be on the line for WAY more than $6936. Not buying health insurance, wouldn't make your health problems go away. Instead, they would cost way, way, way more.

down_the_river 4 years, 7 months ago

Count your blessings if you've never known anyone who's had to declare bankruptcy due to high medical expenses, even when they had insurance. What I'm suggesting is that a 27 year old still trying to pay off student loans and barely making it, could rack up enough medical expense to sink them, even with insurance. They'll opt for bankruptcy since they won't have much to lose. I know us old farts are dependent on the healthy young ones to pay for insurance to cover our share of the costs, but I wouldn't blame them if they said no thanks.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

" It's well beyond what a typical 27 year old Kansan has available as monthly discretionary income"

That's how we are going to make America a libertarian society. Make the next generation pay for something they don't want then make it too expensive for them to use. Give them a choice not to buy it, but then take their tax refunds. After a few years of that, the young people will despise democrats, they will not want to be republicans because of their god-driven agenda, so all they have left is the party they should have joined to begin with, the Libertarian Party.

If your ideas require force, your ideas are wrong.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

see. this is exactly why you (et. al.) are so funny.

remind me again: in any of ayn rand's published works :: which character were you?

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

Money talks. Start taking it from people and they will answer.

I've read some Rand short stories. I prefer Nietzsche.

Kathy Theis-Getto 4 years, 7 months ago

Perhaps these may be some of your favs?

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

“The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”

“The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

gatekeeper 4 years, 7 months ago

"The poll, conducted by The Morning Consult, a health care policy media company, found that young adults are the most supportive of the health care law across age groups."

FarleyM 4 years, 7 months ago

My insurance premiums have drastically gone up per month. My friends business insurance for her employees have gone up. Please tell how this is a good deal? I would give details and amounts if I thought it would help me sleep better.

Andrew Dufour 4 years, 7 months ago

You're premiums are going up completely independent of the ACA Farley. The simple fact of the matter is that premiums have been skyrocketing for years and many independent studies out there show that after the ACA was implemented premium increases actually slowed. No they haven't reversed course and begun decreasing but the increases have slowed since the implementation of the ACA. The "hope" is that with more people enrolling we can see a stabilization in the market and hopefully a reduction in premium shock.

FarleyM 4 years, 7 months ago

That's funny. My premiums had stayed the same for years.

Your posts are, or must be calming though, for the many on this site that can't get coverage any other way than with government intervention. But, I guess that is what the new transformed government is all about. Intervention.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

Now you have a Buick policy for the price of a Porsche. But don't fret, somebody gets a free Kia!

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

That's not true. Many people had policies with higher OOPE (out of pocket expense) which had lower premiums. Those policies are being replaced with more expensive obamacare policies.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

One can select the "bronze" plan on the exchanges, which has higher oope and lower premiums than the other options.

tomatogrower 4 years, 7 months ago

They have been going up every year for a long time, even before Obama was president. At least now the insurance company has to use 80% of the premiums on health care or you get a rebate and they can't give it to their CEO as a huge bonus. Poor CEO.

workinghard 4 years, 7 months ago

Too bad the electric company doesn't have to use 80% on operating costs or return it.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 7 months ago

The Insurance Exchange doesn't start until October. The coverage will probably kick in January one. Are your referring to a policy from your employer? If so, the employer's healthcare plan costs have been going up drastically for years, forcing tough choices. The rate of Healthcare premium increases have actually slowed since Obamacare passed, maybe in anticipation of the implementation next year.

Barry Watts 4 years, 7 months ago

Even though health insurance is going to be available, it does not mean people will actually purchase it. An individual making $25,000 a year is barely making it as it is. Now they are going to spend over $100 a month and be covered by a minimal healthcare plan? Most people I've spoken with lower incomes are appreciative of the opportunity to have healthcare, but are worried they cannot afford the plans that are going to be available. Many are actually fearful of the penalty for not purchasing a plan they feel they cannot afford. All this speculation means little and it will take time to know how/if this system will work.

mccabetherealtor 4 years, 7 months ago

I worked for one company for many years. They generated slightly over $50 million a year with approx. 250 employees.

Every year, our insurance costs went up and our choices narrowed. Every year....without skipping a beat. The last four years, our company switched insurance carriers 4 times in an effort to reduce the cost increases.

Sometimes, when I see these discussions and hear the inevitable Tea Party comparison of the president to Hitler, I wonder if this is what it felt like (just a little bit) for people involved in the Civil Rights movement. I can't even fathom how they held a conversation with people who felt that "separate but equal" was a really good solution.

It is literally bizarre to think that the richest nation in the world can't provide health care for all of its citizens, and even a few who aren't. The world is turning my friends....and heating can complain all you want but health care for every American is coming.....and so is Hillary :)

Paul Silkiner 4 years, 7 months ago

Hillary................not electable. See how and why she was fired from Watergate and can you say Benghazi, Hillary and leave out liar? NO, it doesn't matter anymore............but it will........the ladies looney!

EveryMan 4 years, 7 months ago

The real issue is whether the cost will be more or less than it is now. Lower than the estimate is meaningless unless you are trying to trick the public.

The lowest rate now is $41 per month according to this story. The lowest rate under the new law is $107 per month according to this story. It's really not that complicated, unless you're using fuzzy math...

Tyler Palmer 4 years, 7 months ago

You can still buy the $41 per month plan. You don't have to purchase health insurance through the exchange, you just have to purchase health insurance. If you find a private plan outside the exchange that meets your needs, then buy that one.

Tomato 4 years, 7 months ago

That's not true, actually. Many people (my family included) have received notices that their current policies are being cancelled because they don't meet the requirements of Obamacare.

Tyler Palmer 4 years, 7 months ago

It is true, actually. Just because your particular plan doesn't meet the requirements, doesn't make my statement false. It is, in fact, true that you do not have to buy health insurance through the exchanges. You can purchase health insurance on your own through a private provider.

I know Brownback and Bush have tried to teach people that if your gut tells you something, it must be right, but that's just not how reality works. I know it's painful for anti-fact folks to actually investigate and present evidence, so I'll go ahead and spend the minutes and a half it takes to discover the truth.

Here's a quote from the relevant section of the Kansas Insurance site FAQ:

"Consumers may buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace to satisfy the individual mandate, but they don’t have to. Other forms of health coverage that satisfy the requirement to have “minimum essential coverage” include most employer-sponsored plans, union plans, and enrollment in a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or CHIP. Consumers can continue to use agents to buy insurance available in the market outside the exchange."

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

I would say that it's extremely unlikely that somebody can buy a $41/month policy that would satisfy the "minimum coverage" under the ACA. Especially if they're buying insurance themselves, not through an employer group plan.

Unless they're young enough that they are only required to have "catastrophic coverage".

cowboy 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank you President Obama for actually doing something for the people. The rest of the politicians should follow your example. Saw a blurb the other day suggested pols wear racing suits like Nascar drivers so we can actually see who has bought them off.

As one of the "pre existings" I will buy insurance on Oct 1st. Being self employed I let my insurance lapse for a few months during the slowdown / crash and when I went to re up lovely BSBS denied me , as did other KS carriers because I had an irregular heartbeat issue. Easily managed with some inexpensive medication I have been without insurance since 2009. Thank God nothing happened to me but it will be nice to have the peace of mind of being covered again. There are many like me. I make enuf not to get a subsidy but I can get insurance again.

Looks as thought the cost for a decent policy will be less than in the past which is good also. Insurance companies have been ripping off all of us for decades now so all of you anti Obamacare folks are truly doing the bidding of the Insurance industry.

leonardpike 4 years, 7 months ago

I buy insurance from the individual market (Coventry). I am self-employed. My wife has her own plan. I am over 30, take two medications and my premium is about $200.00 per month. Wife's plan is about the same. The deductible is $2,000.00 per year. 20% coinsurance. 50% coinsurance for out of network doctors. Drugs are $10 for generic, $45 brand name. I've had several fights with Coventry regarding coverage. I've met my deductible this year (had to get an MRI). Overall health care costs for the year are pretty high for our family when you consider we spend about $400 per month on coverage, have $4000.00 in deductibles, pay for drugs, etc. Health care costs are about $8K to $10K if we use up deductible.

According to the report, if I bought the same plan on the exchange, I'll save. Mine is a high deductible plan under the new rules. My premium would probably be around $130-ish. I make too much income for the subsidies.

I can't wait for Obamacare for two reasons. (1) I am excited about the option to shop for insurance on an exchange (and one day let providers compete for business) and also excited (2) about the fact my wife can get maternity coverage. Under current law, the Kansas legislature clearly forgot to require that insurance companies offer maternity coverage in legislating the "culture of life." We tried to buy maternity coverage but no insurance company currently offers it if you are purchasing on the individual market. Again, we tried to pay for it, but could not get it. We are not planning on having a kid soon, but want to be covered if we do. Seems like Obamacare is more in tune with the culture of life than the radicals running our state.

Pike. Out.

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

OFF TOPIC QUESTION: did governor brownback, via non-participation in ACA, actually provide better outcomes for kansans?

is he really that clever?

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

2nd otq: did our governor not just get completely lapped? (more than once)? by our state's last two female insurance commissioners?


Sunny Parker 4 years, 7 months ago

People are living pay check to pay check....every dollar counts! And you all think 'obumacare' is cheap! wow

weeslicket 4 years, 7 months ago

if you are living "paycheck to paycheck" (like liberty123). perhaps oBumaCare isn't acutally your/your family's most pressing problem??

and always. purchase and read more ayn rand.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

Frankly, I cannot tell you how much money I make because I don't pay attention to it. My wife handles the money and pays the bills.

I'm not a libertarian because of money, I am libertarian because it is the only political philosophy not rooted in violence and coercion.

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

hahahahahaha! If only you'd pay attention to the roots of libertarianism you'd find that it is the most coercive 'party' ever. That is ALL that is is.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

Your concept of libertarianism is wrong.

Sunny Parker 4 years, 7 months ago

Why isn't congress, obuma or the others participating? You all are fools!

tomatogrower 4 years, 7 months ago

What? If you have insurance through your work, nothing will change. Congress and the President have jobs which provide insurance. They don't need to purchase any insurance. You really need to educate yourself about the bill. If your boss has dropped your insurance, you might ask to be given the money they spent on the premiums and get a raise.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

If employers stop offering insurance, which is happening, then that will be a definite change.

love2fish_ks 4 years, 7 months ago

Rates were to go down - wrong, they are going up Heathcare was to get cheaper - wrong, it is going up You were to keep your current plan - wrong, new plans You were to keep your doctor - wrong, only if the new plan supports the Dr There was to be no rationing - wrong, rationing based on age and health

What we want is affordability and what we got was greater participation

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree with sunny...If Obamacare is so wonderful why are so many companies opting out? Why is congress and their staff requesting to opt out? Why are the unions vowing to kill the ACA unless they get to keep their "Cadillac" plans thru another wonderful exemption? I could go on but then I digress.

Nobody is taking about all these exemptions mean reduced revenue for the ACA thru greater subsidies & thus ultimately higher premiums or individual taxes.

So many of the posts only look at the "after-tax credit" premium. That is like looking only at your "after tax paycheck". You are ignoring the real cost that is ultimately paid thru our personal & sales taxes.

You all are also ignoring the taxes hidden in the ACA. All of us will be paying those taxes thru higher prices. All of this has already started & price creep will continue until costs & income are equalized at all of our expense. And those evil corporations are made whole again.

There is an old saying "There ain't no such think as a free lunch".

There has to be a better way to solve the healthcare issue besides the ACA.

When will all the ACA supporters wake up & realize this.

tomatogrower 4 years, 7 months ago

What? If your company already provides insurance, nothing will change for you. Congress already has insurance, so they don't have to "opt" out. If you have to buy your own insurance, then it will get cheaper, partly because the insurance companies are going to have to compete, and partly because those people who are healthy and are gambling on not getting sick, will have insurance. It's kind of like how you save money by buying in bulk, or how big retail stores can charge less, because they can buy in volume.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

If the employer stops providing insurance, that would be a definite change.

Tim Norris 4 years, 7 months ago

There is a better way. A lot of info can be found here:

I read about this on an 8/18/2013 article on forbes. To summarize: Everyone who buys insurance gets a $2500 tax credit. Tax credits that are not claimed by tax payers, would go to care providers in their area who serve the poor. Folks with pre-existing conditions would be covered by medicare and the individuals tax credit would be spent on this coverage.

There is a lot more detail, but none of the mandates, or added bureaucracy that has been installed with the ACA.

tolawdjk 4 years, 7 months ago

Having trouble getting the link to load, but I fail to see how this would work.

THe purchae of insurance generates a tax credit. No mandate to purchase.

If the credit is not claimed it goes to providers in their area.

It would stand to reason, if you are purchasing insurance, you are employed. If you are employed, you -should- be a taxpayer.

I have never seen a taxpayer leave a credit knowingly on the table. I've known people that have amended previous year's taxes when they discover a credit they previously were not aware of.

All this system does is subsidize existing policy holders. How is that moving the ball downfield?

Tim Norris 4 years, 7 months ago

Sorry you cannot reach the link. This is the Forbes article:

I believe it references this:

The tax credit is given to everyone, so for those without employer provided health insurance, they can get a tax break when they go out and buy insurance on the open market. Today folks with employer plans, usually get to pay their premiums with before tax dollars, this gives people who dont have insurance through their work or are self employed access to the same tax credit.

Taxpayers who don't have home loans, don't get a mortgage credit, so there is an example of one tax credit that isn't claimed by 100% of tax payers. This would be just about the same, if you opt-out of having insurance, you just don't get a credit come tax time.

The Forbes article mentions expanded medicare as filling the gap for those with pre-existing conditions, as well as a 'high risk' pool.

There's more to it if you can get to the Forbes article or the website.

Tyler Palmer 4 years, 7 months ago

Hmm. So, according to the link, if we just continue to ignore health care reform and continue to focus on health insurance reform where we give more and more money to private insurance corporations, some how, our citizens will be healthier. Just like we don't need the federal government making health care decisions for people, we also don't need private health insurance corporations making health care decisions for people.

Tim Norris 4 years, 7 months ago

That's not how I read it at all. I agree with you, we don't need the government or health insurance companies making our decisions. The plan in the link allows for HSA's for everyone. Let us shop the free market for our healthcare. Let us have the same tax breaks that are given to people who have employer provided plans. How much less expensive could care be, if we took the overhead of government compliance(mandates?), and the paperwork and mess of insurance company middlemen out of the picture? We could find that out without having the ACA forced upon us.

Tyler Palmer 4 years, 7 months ago

The only solution to what you are saying is a single-payer system and the removal of insurance companies from health care.

Insurance corporations have been increasing premiums at double-digit percentages, since long before Obama and the ACA. Insurance corporations are driven by profit and will continue to extract as much money from customers as they can get away with. That's how corporations work. They will always try to maximize profits and charge as much for their products as customers will pay.

The only means of stopping the out-of-control increases in health costs in the US that is likely to work is to remove the insurance industry from the picture. They are an unnecessary part of the process. They do not provide care to patients and they cause huge headaches for the people that do provide care to patients as well as the patients themselves.

As long as health insurance remains a part of our health care environment in the US, we aren't going to see much change in the continued rise in costs demanded by the insurance companies.

An alternative would be to require health insurance corporations be non-profit entities, have to use a single standardized claims form (to remove the unnecessary administrative costs currently burdening health care providers due to mountains of insurance paperwork), and require a much higher percentage of revenue be used directly for care rather than overhead and management salaries.

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

Additionally the senior citizens get hurt with the ACA. To help pay for the ACA Medicare coverage is being reduced. That means higher premiums for their supplemental insurance or higher out of pocket expenses.

What people do not realize is if Medicare doesn't cover the condition then neither does there supplemental insurance. This will hurt everyone eventually.

And yes there are panels that decide coverage to help control costs. Call them Death panels if you wish. It impacts seniors first as their conditions & required procedures are the ones already on the chopping block with the reductions in Medicare.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

The ACA cheerleaders won't be able to see this because of their Obama worship and approved, rose colored glasses.

smileydog 4 years, 7 months ago

my premium will more than triple. what up with that?

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

Then you stick with what you have. Doh.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Only if that option is still available.

What if employers stop providing insurance to their employees? Then those people can't just "stick with what you have".

Tomato 4 years, 7 months ago

Almost everyone I know (myself included) who pays their own insurance got a letter this week cancelling their policies. We no longer have the option to stick with what we have because the ACA imposed restrictions on the types of policies that can be offered.

Becca McMaster 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't believe you. At least I don't believe that your insurance was suddenly cancelled because the company can't meet the ACA requirements. That would mean that they cancelled all policies nationwide and will stop conducting business. I've not heard of any insurance company that is claiming they can't meet the minimum standards so are getting out of the business entirely.

Tell us the name of the insurance company so we can check the veracity of your statement.

Tomato 4 years, 7 months ago

Blue Cross Blue Shield of KS. I did not say that we received a letter saying they went out business. Only that our policy is canceled because it doesn't meet ACA standards.

Tomato 4 years, 6 months ago

I also want to point out that I don't really have an agenda in saying this. I didn't really care about the ACA. I buy my own insurance and I'm in an income bracket that likely won't qualify for tax breaks. ACA wasn't supposed to be about me. My health insurance situation wasn't the subject of ACA at all. I did not anticipate any changes whatsoever.

That is, until this month, when I received the letter from BCBS of KS saying my policy is canceled because of ACA standards. It confuses me. I was happy with my insurance - it was affordable and it covered what I needed it to cover. But suddenly it's not good enough.

I truly hope that this works out for my family and that my premiums stay the same or go down. I can't know that yet. The website that BCBS directs me to so that I can policy shop under ACA won't be active until Oct 1.

That said, I have the sneaking suspicion that this won't benefit me. I don't need rehab to be covered, or preexisting conditions, or maternity/newborn care, or any pediatric care. As it turns out, though, those are ACA minimum standards of care. I'm being forced to subsidize those costs for others.

I hope that the math works out in my favor, and that enough people are subsidizing those costs alongside me that my costs will also decline. I guess we'll see on Oct 1.

jafs 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, you should have known that the ACA would set minimum standards of coverage - that information's been available for a while.

We're all subsidizing others already with group insurance plans - it's just the way they work. We don't all need all of the provisions of our policies, and usage is uneven as well.

Or, I guess, we could be using more than we pay in as well. It's not a simple "pay for what you use" system.

Why do you need your costs to decline? What if they just stay about the same? If it's ok now, wouldn't that be ok as well, and benefit a lot more people? Seems like a possible "win win" scenario to me.

Oct. 1 is too soon to evaluate the whole thing - we'd really need for it to be in play in it's entirety for a few years to see how everything shakes out.

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

Just one more note about the so called death panels.

There may or may not be an overt individual decision that decides whether a given procedure is covered. That will already be decided when you purchase your individual plan.

When it will hit each of us, like a cold slap in the face, is when you are suddenly diagnosed with something severe or have a severe injury & you discover it is not covered, or barely covered. Then you realize that having an ACA plan is just like having no insurance at all. You can bet the petty/low cost stuff will be covered. Depending on when, not if, this happens to you, you will decide if these panels are death panels or just panels trying to reduce/control make the call.

You will care less about how our premiums are subsidized when you discover you can not pay the deductible or the medical care required by a non-covered illness or injury. Worse than death you may be faced with poverty for years, as declaring bankruptcy will not excuse medical bills. Even if you find a way to get them excused your credit is ruined.

Choose wisely what you purchase on the exchange. Choose even more wisely your support for the ACA. Remember there are no free lunches.

overthemoon 4 years, 7 months ago

Where are you getting this 'information' or are you just making it up?

gatekeeper 4 years, 7 months ago

You want to know what these so called "death panels" will prevent? Thousands and thousands of dollars spent on procedures and treatments that aren't needed and that often torture the elderly and dying.

I had to step in and take control of my father's care a few years ago (he had Alzheimer's and was in heart failure). My mom just wanted him to be alive, so what ever the doctors wanted, they got. He finally passed peacefully two years ago. 9 months before he passed (let me say again, he was in congestive heart failure and had Alzheimer's), cardiologist thought he should get a new pacemaker (good $ to be made). His heart wasn't strong enough to handle it and actually rejected the unit). The surgery hurt him bad and he was in the hospital for over a month recovering and still had his old pacemaker (we taxpayers paid for that). Couple months later my mom had him rushed to the ER and they decided that we needed to aggressively treat the heart failure (let me point out again, heart failure and Alzheimer's and 79 years old). They hooked him up on all kinds of stuff, called in a different cardiologist and fought me when I demanded that he be sent home.

Most of the ridiculous procedures that are done are on the dying. My father could have passed peacefully sooner than he did. Thanks to Drs that knew Medicare would pay for anything they wanted, he was made to suffer until I got legal control and took over his care. One day when he had some clear moments and we were at our family doctor, we asked him if he was ready to go and he said he wanted to pass and didn't want to see any more doctors ever. That finally made my mom realize that I was correct and it was time to stop treating every tiny little thing to keep him alive.

We force people to stay alive when their bodies are telling them it's time to let go. Just because something can be done to prolong someone's life doesn't mean it should be done. Quality of life is more important. I just had to put my dog to sleep this weekend (vet wanted to hospitalize him and give him more meds even though he was dying from a brain tumor) and it's so sad that I could make the decision for him to rest peacefully, but I had to fight doctors to let my father pass and they made him suffer in his final year.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 7 months ago

I totally agree with you. As the child with the medical power of attorney for my mother, it was an experience to watch what happened in the last 48 hours of her life. Unbelievable! Even with her signed living will, they found ways to exploit her death. We deserve better than this.

Becca McMaster 4 years, 7 months ago

How is this any different from pre-ACA?

The insurance companies routinely decide that treatments are not covered or declare that the insured hasn't followed the precise procedure to receive care so they aren't going to pay. If an insured has an expensive problem, it is almost guaranteed that obtaining coverage is going to require a lot of work and fighting. Hopefully, the ACA will help eliminate some of those evil practices.

You are simply making the argument for a single-payer system. Which would be fabulous but - like the BCS that couldn't figure out how to create a tournament - the U.S. apparently can't figure out how to develop a single-payer system.

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

overthemoon no I am not just making this up. It is reality.

For the past several years I have listened to the arguments & read articles in newspapers from across the nation. The truth is out there it just takes work to get to it.

I am a senior citizen on Medicare. I know the realities existing there. For years we have been picking our supplemental insurance & our prescription drug partD (drug coverage) thru what I am sure is a similar process as the exchanges being discussed. It takes lots of research & calling of companies to Verify what you are going to get & not get. I believe I was told a big story about my Part D coverage this year as it has not covered things the way it was presented. So watch the smoke screens.

Just so you know why so many doctors are leaving the system & going to direct pay vs filing insurance claims is because they are tired of not being paid fairly. Patients are either being dropped or new Medicare patients are not being taken on by doctors. This is because of the fee reimbursement & coverages decided by a cost managing panel. With the ACA some doctors are choosing not to participate.

Let me give you an example. I received a recap of my last months medical bills from Medicare. First Medicare only approved for reimbursement 78.9% of the doctors invoice amount. Medicare only paid 80% of the 78.9% & my supplemental insurance will only reimburse the doctor the remaining 20% of the 78.9% MEDICARE APPROVED.. The doctor is out roughly 21% of his fee.

I am sure some doctors can chime in based on their experience. Even Lawrence Memorial Hospital is making changes in staffing based on the ACA & it is not good.

THE ACA did not have to be passed. A law could be written that included a no previous condition clause, & also included allowing people to buy insurance across state borders to by the most competitive plans. IN this way you are dealing directly with an insurance company addressing what is and is not covered & if you do not like it you can move on to the next policy. Market choice has driven the healthcare business to be the best in the world. Advances cost more & a mechanism needs to be developed to allow the medical equipment & drug companies inventions to be rewarded with recouping their investment yet make them affordable in the market.

There is more, but I am going to bed for now. Catch you all in the AM>

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, that's how insurance reimburses providers.

But, providers can simply set their rates at above the maximum reimbursement level and that way they get the maximum allowable.

It's a fundamental issue with insurance, not with the ACA.

Also, in my experience our health care system has many flaws, and could be improved in many ways - hard to believe it's the "best in the world".

average 4 years, 7 months ago

"A law could have been written". But, let us note, in 15 years of GOP control of Congress and skyrocketing medical expenses, such laws were in fact never written and were nowhere near being written.

You can't compare the ACA to some theory that never happened. You have to compare it to what its opponents actually provided when given the chance (the status quo ante). And the ACA beats that hands-down.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

Citizen1, you do a nice job of explaining what is wrong with the ACA. I agree. Well done, but with all the cheerleaders for ACA on here, they have drank too much of the democrat Obamacare koolaid to see straight. But hopefully some of them will wake up and smell the coffee.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 7 months ago

OMGOMGOMG! We CAN'T have proof that the ACA, y'know, actually WORKS.

purplesage 4 years, 7 months ago

The working poor can't afford this either! It is NOT the solution. Health care must be cost-contained - and that doesn't mean charging $10K,writing off $6K and suing for the rest of the co-pay and co insurance etc.

Anything the government has a hand in, and anything that can be financed or insured, costs more than it shoud. Consider concessions at the ballpark, with the government skimming some of the profits and limiting competition. Or, anything you can pay on installments.

Then, there's the absurd idea of a fine if you can't pay the premiums. Congress is of course, exempt. The only people who want this mess is those who don't have to accept it.

hillsandtrees 4 years, 7 months ago

Which ballparks are you talking about? The local city ballparks that are trying to cover costs of upkeep?

Carol Bowen 4 years, 7 months ago

Congress is not exempt. Verify your facts before making such a statement.

When an uninsured person has a health problem or breaks an arm, they go to LMH emergency. Then, LMH sends them a bill that is almost always more than $2000. If the patient can't pay, we pay.

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

hear_me, What changes with ACA? Who is going to pay for these premium reimbursements? The government? Where does the government get its money?

There are reports from the CBO that says the objective of the law will not be achieved, we will still have significant #'s of people still uninsured.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 7 months ago

The ACA has built in savings. If it were even possible to repeal ACA, the federal deficit would increase. Paul Ryan had targeted the same savings for something other than healthcare during the campaign last year.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

It's a good question.

I still don't understand projections of savings at the federal level, given the very generous subsidies on the exchanges.

Shelley Bock 4 years, 7 months ago

"Facts? I don't believe in no stinking facts" say the Tea Party types / Republicans.

Centerville 4 years, 7 months ago

Great news! So, rather than a $2,500 decrease in premium cost next year, for the same coverage, can I count on it being $3,000 less? Or, maybe, $4,000 less? That would be fabulous!

jessie 4 years, 7 months ago

The premium listed is less than we have been paying for a family of 4 for the past 12 years or so.

I would have preferred single payer as the insurance companies are a big part of the problem. But the most important thing is that the previously uninsured will have options.

Centerville 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, the most important thing is that everyone who has been buying their own health insurance will be paying at least $2,500 less for it next year. Therefore, a lot more people can afford it.

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

Let's see, we couldn't afford health insurance before when it was only us & the insurance company (2 entities involved). Now magically we can afford health insurance because we are now paying the government to intervene between you & the insurance company (thats 3 entities involved).

Where does the government get its money? From you & me thru various taxes, some new ones & old ones increased.

By the way the cheaper part is because the rates, in some cases, are lower than predicted by the CBO, not necessarily cheaper than if you were allowed to by insurance freely in the market.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 7 months ago

It's still "two entities". The exchange gives you a chance to compare coverage and costs. No one is telling you what to purchase. Just don't take our sniffles to the high cost ER.

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

hear_me the government is now involved there is a third party invoked. The government is hiring thousands of IRS agents to enforce the law & watch each person for coverage. I f you do not get it they fine you.

Additionally HHS has written thousands & thousands of regulations, there is a whole new growth in government that now must be paid for that did not exist before.enforce

Centerville 4 years, 7 months ago

“They’re going to be able to go to a computer, tap on the Web page and they’re going to be able to shop just like you shopped for an airline ticket or a flat-screen TV, and see what’s the best price for you, what’s the plan that’s best suited for you, and go ahead and sign up right there and then,” Obama [who allegedly graduated from high school] said.

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately katbasher folks are looking for something for nothing. This blinds them to the truth. They are willing to become victims because this leads to more & more Obama Bucks leading further & further to more dependence.

Dependence on government is a DRUG. The initial bad decision leads ultimately to self destruction.

Thats why the elect folks who will give them the most goodies, because they ensure their constant supply of government dependency drugs. Vicious cycle of self destruction & eventually our society.

In_God_we_trust 4 years, 7 months ago

The government was never intended to be in the health care business and shouldn't be. Obamacare should be defunded and then repealed.

FarleyM 4 years, 7 months ago

Everybody on this thread is arguing over insurance and government intervention.

Keep your insurance. Insurance is a bet you'll get sick. Keep your government intervention. Intervention is an intrusion with mountains of paper work. Give me my qualified doctor that doesn't have 20 people waiting in line to see him. I pay cash.

Eventually, there will be cash lines and insurance, medicare, government intervention lines. More than likely, there will be doctors stream lining their operations by getting rid of the mountains of government intervention paper work and work on a cash only basis.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

That's all fine, until/unless you get a disease/illness that you can't pay for out of pocket.

What happens to you then?

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

FarleyM I agree with you & many people already are going cash VS insurance. The problem is Most folks can not do that,

They are enamored with the low premiums, but do not realize the cost of those low premiums are high deductibles & many non-covered procedures.

Just trying to get them to realize what they are in for. As I said earlier, people are all enamored with the subsidized premiums and ignoring the reality, just like they only look at the after tax portion of their pay check.

There are no free lunches, people will realize that only when it is too late for them.

FarleyM 4 years, 7 months ago

The gamble USED to be there. You used to be able bet $100 to $500 a month for insurance. The investment, bet may or may not be worthwhile. If you don't need the money except for yearly visits, you'll have a pile of cash after 5, 10, 15 years.

Too bad government intervention fines you for not making the monthly bet. Too bad for the young that do not get sick.

What kind of transformation is this country becoming? It is a pitiful country now.

The government wants the vig, juice on the insurance money. Scoundrels if you ask me.

tomatogrower 4 years, 7 months ago

"It is a pitiful country now." Feel free to move.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 6 months ago

We'd rather keep working on fixing (despite constant opposition) and make it better.

tomatogrower 4 years, 7 months ago

One thing missing from the ACA - If a company drops it's group insurance for their employees, they should be required to give their employees a raise equal to the what they were paying for the premium. But that's not going to happen, is it? They will pocket the money.

Liberty275 4 years, 7 months ago

" If a company drops it's group insurance for their employees, they should be required to give their employees a raise equal to the what they were paying for the premium"

It seems to me that if your employer stops providing insurance, then the premium that was being withdrawn is now going back into your net pay, aka, a raise.

You have your wish.

You should have wished the raise would be the amount of the premium the business is no longer paying as well as the amount no longer being withdrawn from your pay.

bad_dog 4 years, 7 months ago

"... they should be required to give their employees a raise equal to the what they were paying for the premium"

"they", i.e. the company should have to give the employee a raise equal to the amount of premium the company previously paid on behalf of the employee.

Liberty275 4 years, 6 months ago

"give their employees a raise equal to the what they were paying"

"employee" was the last noun before "paying".

bad_dog 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, but your suggested interpretation would make absolutely no sense. The employee is already getting back the premium $$ the employee otherwise would have paid. The employee will still have to use those same dollars to go purchase coverage elsewhere so there is no raise inherent in that approach. The only way a raise could be involved is if the employee also obtained the matching funds otherwise paid by the employer on their behalf and were then able to secure comparable coverage at a lower premium point.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago


Unless forced, companies will just keep the extra money, and not distribute it to employees.

But, that's understandable from their perspective, because if they did redistribute it that way, they wouldn't save any money, which is the incentive to drop coverage, right?

LA 4 years, 6 months ago


I think you will be surprised at how FEW companies will drop their existing coverage. First of all: 1) If they drop it (and they employer over 50 people), they will have to pay a $ 2,000 penalty per person (minus the first 30); 2) They could have dropped their coverage last year, the year before, etc. Why drop it now (2014) and make yourself liable for the above mentioned penalty (which kicks in 2015) ?; and 3) Why make 100% of your employees mad over losing something they ALREADY HAD ? Productivity will plunge if so.

Richard Payton 4 years, 7 months ago

If Congress and their staff like the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and not Obamacare. Shouldn't the rest of us that pay taxes for these individuals to have that (FEHBP) plan be offered that plan as well?

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

The exchange system is analogous to the federal system, and modeled after it.

Richard Payton 4 years, 7 months ago

The Supreme Court ruled that Congress and staff can keep their Federal Employees Health Benefit Program and not be required to keep Obamacare. Obamacare is modeled off an European model.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

According to what I can find, Congress and staff will actually have to join the exchanges.

That was from an article in August of 2013 - what SC decision do you mean? It would have to be after that time, and I don't know of any such decision.

The requirement came about because of legislation sponsored by a R, and approved by the D as well.

OlDan 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes Congress and staffers will join the exchanges. But they will be subsidized regardless of their income. This is an exemption (or benefit) not available to the general poulation. In effect, not much will change for them.

hillsandtrees 4 years, 7 months ago

Obamacare is modeled after Rommeycare, not any European model. The Europeans have figured out how to get more streamlines systems that produce better healthcare for lower costs. They have a variety of systems, none are like Obamacare.

FarleyM 4 years, 7 months ago

This should not be a problem. Obamacares collateral damage will reach patient equilibrium that should solve waiting time in Doctors office.

"A unique new survey of health care professionals finds that 56 percent oppose Obamacare, with more than nine in 10 believing that there could be major negative impacts such as a drop in quality care. A shocking 19 percent believe Americans will die earlier."

David Reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

Rest assured, Obamacare is designed to fail & the result will be single payer, then no one gets their existing insurance they like.

When it totally collapses under its own weight the public will look to the government for the solution. That by the way will be the same government that created the chaos in the beginning.

It was our good friend & Obama advisor, Rahm Emanuel, who famously said: "Never let a good crises be wasted".

The crisis will come, it is just a matter of time.

James Minor 4 years, 6 months ago

Why does a young healthy person pay more? Shouldn't be the other way around? A person who smokes and/or drinks excessively should pay more than the healthy older person. Young people are told that there may not be Social Security when they retire, so they should start saving now. If they are being charged higher for health care than others, saving for retirement, paying back student loans, and working at a lower wage due to the job market, how will they survive financially?

The Republicans have the idea to defund until they can come up with their own plan then shove it down America's throat.

The ACA in some areas needs some work and should be revised, but not defunded. It needs to be flexible for future legislative and economic changes.

hillsandtrees 4 years, 6 months ago

The young don't pay more than an older person. Companies can charge more based on higher age, location, and if a tobacco user. Smokers can be charged 50% more for their insurance on all age and location based premiums.

It's that some previous policies offered a very limited coverage, which is no longer deemed acceptable. Thus, the possible higher premium.

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