How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

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pjbogart
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How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby pjbogart » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:17 pm

So obviously we've seen plenty of chest-pounding over the past few months, but the day of reckoning is upon us and I think most Americans will assess the success of the ACA according to how their personal situation changed. There's certainly no shortage of internet hand-wringing about rising premiums, deductibles and other horror stories, nor unrealistic claims about how swimmingly everything is going when you can see that it's obviously been a pretty bumpy ride.

I've already posted this numerous times, but I got my first paycheck from the new year so I can give you the hard numbers. I work for a private employer and every two weeks I have my health and dental insurance costs deducted from my paycheck. My old rate was $100.78 every two weeks. It has increased to $110.16. Though my paycheck doesn't split the two, the insurance paperwork I received after Thanksgiving did and roughly $8/month of the increase is for my Dean/St. Mary's FOCUS Healthcare plan and $1/month of the increase is for my Humana Dental.

My healthcare plan is categorized as "platinum" by the ACA and some people have suggested that the reason I didn't see huge increases is because my plan didn't need to change much to meet the requirements of the ACA. My deductible is only $500 and it didn't change at all this year. I've never really looked at the prescription schedule (because I don't take any regular prescriptions) but the co-pays are the same, though I understand that this can be a complicated portion of your policy if you happen to have regular prescriptions.

And that's how the ACA affected me. Not very much, if at all (the $8/paycheck increase is pretty ordinary year to year).

How did your situation change? Not your boss's cousin's husband, but YOU. Did your costs go up? Down? Did you get a subsidy? Do you buy privately or get your insurance through your employer? Are you a State employee? Private employee? Self-employed? Unemployed? Retired? Do you purchase supplemental insurance? How did those costs change?

Mad Howler
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:28 pm

The increase with regard to out of pocket cost has been very mild this year.
The pockets of the health care insurance agencies have been protected.
Single payer is out of our collective narrative.
This is sad.

pjbogart
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby pjbogart » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:08 am

I was looking for specifics, not really bad haikus.

Mad Howler
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby Mad Howler » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:28 am

pjbogart wrote:I was looking for specifics, not really bad haikus.


Well, specifically, I and my family have not been affected much at all.
Perhaps, I could look more deeply and find something to bitch about.
Given the current flaccid flail around this 'adjustment',
I will not.
It could have been so much better for ALL of US.

iwiw99
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby iwiw99 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:49 am

It's very simple. I couldn't get healthcare outside of high risk because of a minor pre-existing condition. Now I have 76 choices and can't be denied. Woohoo! I am still working my way through the choices but as I get closer to 50, this is damn important to me.

TeachInPeace
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby TeachInPeace » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:25 am

I never had much to complain about since I got a job with actual benefits, and so didn't see much of a change either. I got a letter from my company stating that our plans meet the criteria and we would only see a mild out of pocket increase (I think it's 12 dollars). No change to providers, deductible, prescriptions, anything, so it works for me. No drama here. What I WILL say I am thankful for is that my brother, who is about to finish college, won't have to cross his fingers and hope like I did that he doesn't get sick or hurt before landing decent benefits. So that's good too. (I had a job straight out of college, but the health insurance they provided had a 1500 deductible to meet - it was awesome if you got hit by a truck, terrible if you had strep throat).

Donald
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby Donald » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:11 am

Where I work we have a choice between several plans with different premiums, differing deductibles, differing co-pays, etc., and several insurers. Our employer pays a good chunk of the cost, but we have to pay part of the premium through paycheck deduction.

Our plans are set up much like the Obamacare cafeteria. You get to choose the plan with the premium, deductible and copay you want. We don't have as much choice between plans as on the healthcare.gov website, but it's adequate. We were provided information earlier that our group plans meet the Obamacare standards, so there was no need for our employer to change any of our cafeteria choices.

I've kept track of premium changes for several years. This year the lowest increase was GHC at 9.9%. Over the years, GHC has consistently offered the lower cost plan with the lowest year-to-year increase. Dean had nearly a 20% increase this year and last year. I dropped Dean last year, switching to GHC, based on cost, after I had gone to a high deductible ($1,000) at Dean for a couple years. I like the care at both Dean and GHC, but then I don't have major health care issues on which to compare the care on more serious issues.

My point is that healthcare.gov exchange isn't that much different from my employer's plan.

fennel
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby fennel » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:58 pm

Impacted? Really? I'm with LSSU on this one.

Galoot
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby Galoot » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:30 pm

Me, not much, except that the company that runs my health care plan will stop sending me annoying letters demanding evidence that I don't have pre-existing conditions. I think I had to sign and send in 3 statements before they finally got a clue.

It got my brother insured through Medi-Cal. I'm not sure if he would or wouldn't have qualified before the ACA, but it was ridiculously easy to get him signed up through the California healthcare website.

pjbogart
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby pjbogart » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:15 pm

Donald wrote:Our plans are set up much like the Obamacare cafeteria. You get to choose the plan with the premium, deductible and copay you want. We don't have as much choice between plans as on the healthcare.gov website, but it's adequate. We were provided information earlier that our group plans meet the Obamacare standards, so there was no need for our employer to change any of our cafeteria choices.


I think that's actually part of the ACA's requirements because my employer did the same thing. Each plan was assigned a ratio rating from 90/10 down to 70/30 for the FOCUS 1500 which lowered the premium to $86/two weeks but raised the deductible to $1500. I get the impression that those numbers are kind of estimates. It doesn't literally mean that when I visit the doctor I have to pay 10% or 30%, it just means that on average those are my expected co-pays. But I could be wrong on that. But rather than decaying into fits of uncontrollable screeching, I just crack another beer and play some "Dark Souls".

Detritus
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby Detritus » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:45 am

With the advent of Obamacare, I cry myself to sleep every night over the loss of fundamental rights that providing healthcare for the poor entails. After I fall asleep, Ayn Rand appears in my dreams, chain smoking as always, and chews me out for giving up essential freedoms before she lines up for her social security check.

I wake up screaming, and can only be consoled by listening to "Cat Scratch Fever" over and over at high volumes. My downstairs neighbors don't seem to like this, but fuck 'em.

penquin
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby penquin » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:08 pm

Used to pay $80/month for a plan with a $5000 deductible, and had a HSA to cover expenses as they came up. Paid about $150 or so for a yearly physical and some lab tests.

I now pay $360/month for a plan with a $3000 deductible, with no money available to put into a HSA...so while the yearly checkup is now "free" I can not afford any follow up appointments/treatments.

I guess I'm just one of those guys who is gonna be fucked until this mess is fixed, eh?

Rich Schultz
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby Rich Schultz » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:22 pm

"Cat Scratch Fever" is a pre-existing condition.

pjbogart
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby pjbogart » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:45 pm

Penquin, you bought a plan off the exchange and it has a $3000 deductible? Is that $360/month just for you? Even if you take into account my employer's contribution, my plan only costs $400/month and has a $500 deductible and I'm pretty sure Dean/St. Mary's is on the exchange. So people still get a much better deal if they pool through an employer? How much would my plan cost on the exchange? Who is your provider? Is your plan rated as "bronze"?

snoqueen
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Re: How Has Obamacare Impacted You?

Postby snoqueen » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:47 pm

These bronze plans sound like crap, by the way.


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