How many grey hairs will this health insurance purchaser gain after surviving the rollout of Obamacare and now the prospective repeal of Obamacare via a new administration. Again I put politics aside and would speculate that those purchasing health care insurance can agree that purchasing health care insurance is one hot mess of a nightmare. I have received my notice of premium increase from Blue Cross Blue Shield that my premium will increase %51.08 for 2017.
Where do we go from here?
Making Peace With The Roller Coaster Of Obamacare and Purchasing Health Care Insurance
Can it be done? Is it possible? It is an emotional challenge. It is a fiscal challenge. Where are we now? We are looking at the very least a partial repeal of Obamacare in early 2017.
There are a myriad of reasons Americans find themselves on the healthcare exchange and it may or may not be by choice. I’ve written about my journey and premium increases Is Obamacare Affordable: My Journey As An Inaugural Member and Healthcare.gov Here We Go Again , but the thumbnail remains the same:
- 2010 ACA enacted
- 2013 Private pay policy cancelled
- 2013 Rollout of Obamacare, enrollment of Obamacare begins
- 2014-2017 Total price increase of %89.36
Annual Cost Increase – Is Obamacare Affordable?
January 2014 Began Obamacare
January 2015 Premiums increase %12.7
January 2016 Premiums increase %25.58
January 2017 Premiums increase %51.08
This is the same Silver Multi State policy. January 2014 – December 2017 = %89.36 percent
Did your wages increase %89.36 the past four years?
Five Stages Of Obamacare Grief
Denial: There was is denial; once the election was decided it is clear Obamacare will be repealed in some form. And Obamacare does need revising no matter which party controls the White House.
Anger: Irritation that all politicians, doctors and health insurance providers cannot reach a consensus as to providing affordable health insurance to all.
Bargaining: The bargaining is fiscally based. Are most of the 20 million plus Americans bargaining within their budget and income to afford health care insurance? I submit the answer is yes.
Depression: Purchasing health care insurance can be depressing. Enough said.
Acceptance: Completed. As soon as the final results of the presidential election were calculated – I accepted that Obamacare will at that very least be repealed in part.
What Does The Future Hold?
I spoke with Blue Cross Blue Shield this morning and asked the following questions:
Q: If I purchase health insurance for 2017 – will BCBS honor the policy through 2017 irregardless of what happens with the government
A: Answer: No clear cut answer. As of today there are no changes in the system. BCBS stated they will keep all purchasers apprised as the new president comes into office.
Q: Can I purchase BCBS privately – off market – therefore bypassing Obamacare/health marketplace policies?
A: Yes. Policies can be purchased as “off market” policies which are ACA compliant. However off market policies are not eligible for tax credits.
What Are The Solutions?
That is the million dollar question. The easy answer is to make more money to afford health insurance; the reality is that is simple not possible with policies increasing %25 plus per year.
It is crucial for the pre existing condition portion of the law to remain. The ten essential benefits of the ACA I believe can be tweaked and perhaps decrease a few of those benefits. The ten essential benefits had their place in the development in order for the insurance companies to not discriminate and cherry pick subscribers; but it needs to be revisited with the costs versus benefits analyzed in relation to affordability.
Can The New Administration Implement Affordable Policies?
To be determined. The Paul Ryan bill to repeal parts of Obamacare can be accomplished early in 2017 by the new administration should there by Congressional support, but what exactly is the replacement plan for Obamacare?
To be continued … As one of the 22 million Americans affected I will be watching closely.