Ned Flanders wrote:Gee, I have no idea...
Yet more support for Donald's theory of conservative dementia.
Huckleby wrote:Obamacare is going to take about 5 years to really get implemented and become accepted. We're trying to nudge a super tanker in a new direction, as the standard metaphor goes.
Sandi wrote:I hope the people in New York are not holding their breath.
There are two ways to improve an insurance market that has been wrecked the way New York’s was. The first is to eliminate the market distortions that caused the problem in the first place; for example, by eliminating age-based community rating, so that young people can buy insurance whose price is more closely related to their actual health-care consumption, instead of being asked to pay thousands of dollars more for insurance they don’t need.
The other approach is to do what Obamacare does: to impose an individual mandate that dragoons the healthy into subsidizing the sick, and to subsidize the cost of the inflated health premiums for some low-income individuals, so at least they can afford coverage.
The lowest-paid employees who qualify for ACA coverage (as opposed to Medicaid) earn about $11,500 per year. They would be subject to an initial penalty of $115 and a maximum penalty of $695. We currently estimate that their share of health insurance premiums will be $1,091.55 per year—again, well in excess of any potential penalty. So, in the first year, our employees' insurance costs likely will be four to 10 times more than the ACA's penalty on the uninsured.
This is why I am concerned that the ACA could actually cause the number of our covered employees to decrease, particularly in the first year. The penalty for declining coverage will be low compared with the cost of coverage; and employees will know that if they happen to get sick, they can get insurance after that. So the economically rational decision for young people, like our crew employees, is to pay the penalty and forego the insurance. Despite what the government may believe, our employees are smart enough to figure this out.
For insurers, it's simple math: Premiums collected must exceed claims paid. If too few young healthy people enroll, insurers will raise premiums on those who do. This could result in a spiral of rising premiums—causing more healthy people to drop coverage, driving premiums even higher.
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