Sunday, January 5, 2014

Why I Love Obamacare

When I took a new job in September my job and my pay improved but my benefits got worse. Not only that, but I was now the one hunting for health plans for my employees.

I always needed to find insurance through an employer or other group plan because most insurance covers deems my scoliosis (which will probably never need surgery) to be a pre-existing condition.. I've been outright denied coverage twice and told by another insurance company that they would cover me but exclude any coverage relating to my back and charge me an extra 40%. What the extra 40% was for I will never know. Further, pre-Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") I also got charged, on average, about 10% more than Truman...just because I have a vagina. Good times.

So when I moved to my new company Truman and I suddenly had $1200 deductibles (each) and I paid about $300 a month for his health insurance. Thanks to the ACA I changed my work's group plan and Truman is now enrolled as an individual (something we couldn't do before January 1st because I was worried his allergies would be deemed a pre-existing condition).  Me and my employees have $500 deductibles and our co-pays are half of what they were before and the company is saving more than $100 a month in premiums and we qualify for tax credits. Yes, I gave my employees better insurance and it's costing our company less each month. As forTruman, even though we don't qualify for any tax credits (we're luck to have really great jobs) we now pay about $250 a month for him and he has no deductible at all. $50 less each month for our family and way better coverage. Pretty exciting stuff.

There's no shortage of totally bogus claims roaming the internet about how Obamacare has ruined someone's life. Frankly, most those claims are totally fabricated. Ones like this one that has run through my facebook feed like wildfire, can't be verified or re-created at all. The facts provided just don't jive with how the health exchanges work. When President Obama said that you can keep your plan if you like it I don't think he realized how many people were on really terrible plans that really weren't insurance (they didn't cover hospital stays or had low coverage limits) and that those people didn't realize how useless those plans were (for a really wonderful overview of this problem you should check out this article about the junk insurance plans the ACA is protecting us from). As Mother Jones points out, what President Obama should have said was, "Those of you who obtain insurance on the individual market can keep your plans unless it's the sort of rip-off plan the ACA will forbid. Otherwise, you will be offered new option that actually give you decent coverage at a decent price."

I represent one family and one business that is incredibly thankful to the much needed updates to our health insurance if only if we could continue heading in the right direction.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that people don't understand what his quote meant, and it should be expanded to say the thing about junk insurance. I sadly looked at options and could only find much lessor coverage (including the "platinum" offerings) for similar or only slightly less cost, but then again, I am not in the demographic the ACA is trying to protect, so it makes sense that Obamacare isn't changing my life.
    I do think insurance companies are using the "uncertainty" around what Obamacare will mean for them to screw people though. While we only have preliminary numbers right now, our group health plan at my work (which is where all five of us have insurance) is looking at a 23% hike. And I don't even have the nicest plan available! I think that boards of directors of insurance companies should get lined up and....fired.