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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups 578

Posted by timothy
from the have-your-neighbors-pay-the-rent-too dept.
dcblogs writes that the Obama Administration is urging tech entrepreneurs "to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and said having the coverage will give them the 'freedom and security' to start their own businesses. 'There is strong evidence that when affordable healthcare isn't exclusively tied to employment, in more instances people choose to start their own companies,' wrote White House CTO Todd Park in a post to launch its #GeeksGetCovered campaign. Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management at Pace University and director of its Entrepreneurship Lab, said the effort is part of a broader appeal by the White House to get younger and healthier people to sign-up for Obamacare, and is in the same vein as President Obama's recent appearance on Between Two Ferns." Removing the tax structures that make companies by default intermediaries in the provision of health insurance, and allowing more interstate (and international) competition in health finance options would help on that front, too, aside from who's actually footing the insurance bill.
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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

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  • by mrspoonsi (2955715) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @08:38AM (#46472573)
    "A study last year found that in many American counties, especially in the deep South, life expectancy is lower than in Algeria, Nicaragua or Bangladesh. The U.S. is the only developed country that does not guarantee health care to its citizens; even after the Affordable Care Act, millions of poor Americans will remain uninsured because governors, mainly Republicans, have refused to expand Medicaid, which provides health insurance for low-income Americans. Although the federal government will pay for the expansion, many governors cited cost, even though the expansion would actually save money. America is unique among developed countries in that tens of thousands of poor Americans die because they lack health insurance, even while we spend more than twice as much of our GDP on healthcare than the average for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a collection of rich world countries. The U.S. has an infant mortality rate that dwarfs comparable nations, as well as the highest teenage-pregnancy rate in the developed world, largely because of the politically-motivated unavailability of contraception in many areas." Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/po... [rollingstone.com]
  • by bigbbri (265021) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @08:54AM (#46472749)

    I too could not afford it, it's not a "few hundred bucks!" I have a family of 4 total and it was going to cost me $1800 /month with a $5,000 - $10,000 deductible. I don't remember the exact deductible but I recall it being of $5K. It did not pay for doctor visits until I hit the deductible amount. Basically a High Indemnity plan for $1800.00 a month! I had just left a corp. so I signed up for COBRA which gave me a PPO for $1400.00 /month and a $800 deductible with $35 doctor visits. But COBRA is temporary, it expires.
    The ACA plans are joke!
             

  • by sjbe (173966) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:02AM (#46472829)

    The cost of individual health care plans was insane, and the crappy ACA plans provide worse coverage with fewer providers - and they're even more expensive!

    I have exactly the opposite experience. I got a better plan for roughly the same cost and I had numerous to choose from. I also was able to get a Health Savings Account which is a great deal if you are eligible for one. My out of pocket maximum is around $4800 per year which I can easily manage if I have to. Most importantly my ability to get and keep health insurance is no longer tied to a specific employer which is LONG overdue. It should never be the case that losing your job should cause you to lose your health insurance. That's just morally wrong.

    I really think what the feds are up to here is trying to kill off as many individual and small business operators as possible.

    I run a small business (a manufacturing company) and the Affordable Care Act has been hugely helpful to us. Our employees were able to get similar coverage to what they had with our company plan, usually for less money out of pocket. Plus the company did not have to pick up any of the cost which saves our company roughly $10,000 per year. Basically we were paying roughly $550 per employee per month and the company picked up half the cost for an HMO. Now our employees are paying between $130-250/month out of pocket and the company doesn't have any of the cost.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:05AM (#46472849)

    >> but for you it's actually a great deal

    Now there's the BS - you sound like the people who encourage everyone else to ride public transportation (without riding it themselves) right now.

    Trust me - I did the math. ACA's benefits, including access to providers, were well below what I was getting with my expensive individual insurance policy a few years ago. With a couple of kids doing sports and the occasional illness, the difference between paying out of pocket for my own health insurance vs. snuggling back up to a megacorp (and dodging the self-employment tax) made it a no-brainer.

    Before we continue, please tell me that you already signed up and paid for your ACA policy, and love what it does for you.

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:07AM (#46472877) Journal
    The vast majority of bankruptcies in America were related to medical bills as recently as last year, even with people who had insurance. [nerdwallet.com]

    Depending on where you go, a "routine" doctor's visit can range from $50 to $200. Still, it's much cheaper for both you and an insurance company to cover a once a year "wellness" visit and catch anything early on than it is for you to skip the yearly visit since it costs an extra $50, and then suddenly learn you've had a slow growing tumor in your ear and now you're going deaf.
  • by FearTheDonut (2665569) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:13AM (#46472941)
    I was with a start-up for a little over a year. One of the conditions I had for joining with them was that they would cover my COBRA expenses, because a) I couldn't afford it with my start-up salary and b) I couldn't get independent coverage because of a few preexisting conditions with me and my family. People forget about that clause. And lord help you if you are pregnant or have a pregnant wife (or want to get pregnant soon). Impossible to get coverage (or so I was told by two different brokers). Say what you want about Obamacare, but just the change of getting reasonably priced insurance even with preexisting conditions is enough for some people to have the freedom to jump into start-ups. Whether it's "right" or "wrong" is a completely different story.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:16AM (#46472967)

    A few hundred? Try $800/month which is the cheapest plan the ACA offers where I live. And that plan was total garbage, didn't cover half of what you'd expect and had huge co-pays.

    The problem with ACA is that it MANDATED HMO's... Not health insurance. Some people don't need an HMO... if you're running a moderately successful home business you're usually making enough money to cover your families medical expenses out of pocket. What you couldn't afford is catastrophic injuries like car accidents, cancer, heart attacks, etc... So you'd get a very limited policy for that. It wouldn't pay for prescriptions and such but if you started getting $200k hospital bills it would kick in. Those plans were pretty cheap... in the $200/range.

    ACA made those kinds of plans illegal. Now you have to buy plans that cover all those things you didn't need... and they cost a fortune. If I tried to get the plan I have with my employer through the ACA exchange it would be over $1600/month. That's insane! And yes, I actually looked it up.

    Ironically, one type of small business is flourishing because of all of this. My best friends father is an insurance salesman. When the ACA passed he was terrified... he'd go out of business. He's an older, cranky, eastern European man and hates democrats so that made it even worse. But when the reality finally dawned on him and everyone's insurance policies got canceled, he suddenly LOVES Obama. You see, he makes a commission on insurance sales. Because all of his clients now have to re-sign up for their insurance, he's basically making back all the money he already made off all of his clients the first time he signed them up.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:44AM (#46473263)

    And the policies of the current administration are a LARGE reason we're losing small business in the US.

    And your evidence for this is what exactly? Small businesses are alive and well. I run one myself and I work with entrepreneurs daily. Every piece of evidence I've seen contradicts your argument. Please back up this blanket assertion with some actual facts.

    We almost seem to be actively trying to make it impossible for US small businesses to succeed with ACA and too many regulations and endless paperwork and taxation.

    The ACA HELPS small business. My company was able to get health insurance through the ACA for our employees and cut expenses while doing so. Our employees generally pay less than before, the company's saves $10K/year on the cost of insurance and none of our employees will lose their coverage if they lose their job. Explain to me the downside here.

  • by phlinn (819946) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:54AM (#46473341)
    The Harvard study they relied on? It's crap [theatlantic.com]. Note that even your link only claimed 57%. I would dispute whether that qualifies as a VAST majority.

    The self reported figure from the study came in at 29%, which is probably a better number. The 62%, and even the 57% in your link rely on a very broad definition of medical bankruptcy. Some with $500,000 in other debt and $5,001 in medical debt [heritage.org] shouldn't really count as a medical bankruptcy.
  • by nbauman (624611) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:00AM (#46473391) Homepage Journal

    The vast majority of bankruptcies in America were related to medical bills as recently as last year, even with people who had insurance. [nerdwallet.com]

    Depending on where you go, a "routine" doctor's visit can range from $50 to $200. Still, it's much cheaper for both you and an insurance company to cover a once a year "wellness" visit and catch anything early on than it is for you to skip the yearly visit since it costs an extra $50, and then suddenly learn you've had a slow growing tumor in your ear and now you're going deaf.

    Your main point is right. Co-payments are terrible health policy.

    Actually, the most common example is people with asthma. If they use their controller medication, they won't get asthma attacks, but the controller medication can be expensive. There were health insurance plans that covered 100% of medication costs. Then they shifted to co-payments. Even with small co-payments, people stopped taking their controller medication. They got asthma attacks, and wound up in the hospital. One ER trip will cost as much as several years of controller medication. So the plans wound up paying more under co-payments as they did with 100% payments. Same with co-payments for blood pressure medication -- more heart attacks and strokes. If you want to look this up, to make sure I'm not repeating an urban myth, it was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine by Amal N. Trivedi, who published a few other studies like that. Also see the Rand Health Insurance Experiment on Wikipedia or elsewhere.

  • Passing on savings (Score:5, Informative)

    by sjbe (173966) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:05AM (#46473437)

    Any of those savings (which could be considered part of an employees salary) get passed on to the employee?

    Any of those savings (which could be considered part of an employees salary) get passed on to the employee?

    We were able to give raises we couldn't before. The company kept some of the savings and some of it got passed on.

    The challenge is that we offered health coverage to everyone but not everyone took it. That was their choice to forego the insurance. It's unfair (and can create legal problems) to give raises only to those who took insurance through our company when others are doing the same job just as well. Any time you have two people doing the same job you have to have a justification if you are going to pay them differently based on responsibilities or performance. We also offer an IRA with an employer match but not everyone chooses to participate. We don't give raises to those who don't participate.

  • "I was getting with my expensive individual insurance policy a few years ago."
    and you left consultancy to go to the corporate world...why? No one took away expensive individual insurance policies.

    YOU CAN STILL BY INSURANCE ON THE OPEN MARKET.
    And you get all the benefits from the insurance reform. So if your child develops a disease* you insurnace company can't jerk you around, and later in life you child won't be denied.

    You should look at any increase costs and compare them to pre-Obama insurance rate increase projections. You insurance were already going to go up, probably a lot better ACA

    "Before we continue, please tell me that you already signed up and paid for your ACA policy, and love what it does for you."
    That is logically fallacious. It has nothing to do with the argument. Especially considering you can still buy on the open market.
    ACA says you need to have insurance the meets certain min. qualification.
    That said, because of the ACA, I will be leaving my government job and starting my own small software company at the beginning of the fiscal year. I can do this because of ACA.

      (and dodging the self-employment tax)
    there is no such thing. What you are doing is having a corporation pay half of the tax. It's the same amount regardless.

    *As a father, I certainly hope that doesn't happen to you becasue I know how hard it is.

  • by FearTheDonut (2665569) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:12AM (#46473489)
    My investigation from HealthCare.gov for a family of 6 was much more affordable than what i was previously offered from insurance companies prior to Obamacare. And this is even without subsidies.
  • by nbauman (624611) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:23AM (#46473573) Homepage Journal

    Insurance is supposed to be there for EMERGENCIES, not to run you $10 copay for routine Dr. visits. That needs to be something you save and pay for, just like any other necessity of modern life, like utilities, food and gas.

    That's one of those ideas that sounds good but doesn't work when you try them out in the real world. Most other developed countries have health care systems that pay 100% of costs (although non-American Slashdotters may be informative on that). Health insurance isn't car insurance.

    The biggest problem is that once people have to pay for "routine" visits, they don't go on routine visits. Obviously you are one of those people who can afford to pay for a $200 doctor's visit out of pocket. Maybe half of Americans are in your category. The other half aren't. Doctors have no end of stories about people who didn't get routine care because they couldn't afford it, and wound up with preventable, fatal diseases. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/1... [nejm.org]

    The other problem with "emergency" care is, "what is an emergency?" If I have to pay $100 for a doctor's visit myself, but my insurance pays for my $2,000 ER visit, I'm going to have a lot of emergencies. That actually was the problem in the Swiss health care system, which was mostly a catastrophic system which didn't kick in fully until you had passed a certain amount (It might have been $30,000). Once you reach $30,000, the insurance company has to pay for everything, 100%, so the doctors give them CAT scans, tests, specialist consultations, etc., and bill it all to the insurance company.

    This is the type of policy and situation that is usually perfect for healthy younger folks that don't need tons of coverage for routine things.

    Think about it. Any policy is perfect for healthy younger folks who never need coverage. The only people who need health insurance are the ones who get sick. If you develop multiple sclerosis or lupus, you can live a much more normal life if you can afford to get a lot of health care. There are drugs that can save your life and keep you out of a wheelchair for $50,000 a year.

    I knew a young, libertarian Republican who had severe psoriasis, which put him in the hospital once or twice a year. The drugs he was taking were damaging his liver and kidneys. There were new, more effective, safer drugs -- but they cost $100,000 a year. What did he do? Government handouts. His wife was a government employee, and he was covered on her policy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:32AM (#46473667)

    I have a family of four, and I am paranoid about coverage so I have a low deductible and lots of coverage.
    1000 a month. Maybe you need to look around more? is there some state based thing that's getting you?

    "$1800 /month with a $5,000 - $10,000 "
    that's.. well stupid. Are you a smoker?

    Are you sure you've actually looked at it?
    Here is what I get for 1000.10 a month and my income gets no subsidies, and I live in Oregon:

    DEDUCTIBLE (I): $100
    DEDUCTIBLE (F): $200
    OOP MAX (I): $1,000
    OOP MAX (F): $2,000
    PLAN LEVEL:
    PLATINUM

    If I got the plan with the deductible you state, it would cast me 366 dollars. I just looked it up.

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