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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 xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:35AM (#46472555)

    I was on my own with a full-time consultancy, but I scaled it back to off-hours and went back to a forty-hour-a-week corporate job for the health insurance. 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 really think what the feds are up to here is trying to kill off as many individual and small business operators as possible. After all, it's a lot easier to monitor and tax large corporate entities than it is to chase after a bunch of little ones.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:43AM (#46472629) Homepage Journal
    I found a few years ago...while doing 1099 through my S corp, that it wasn't that bad for insurance.

    I had (at the time) a high deductible plan, basically what used to be called "major medical", for needs if I got hit by a bus, etc.. The deductible was only about $1200.

    I coupled that with a HSA (Health Savings Account) which unlike the FSA's are not use it or lose it, they roll over annually. I socked away about $3K pre-tax annually and out of that, I paid my routine med visits and drugs.

    I really liked this, it only cost me about $240/mo for premiums. This is what would usually best server young people, which I'm not....I got this and was happy with it and I have pre-existing conditions.

    I'm looking to go that route again, but man...I looked at the health sherpa site that shows what obamacare offers in my area, and deductibles on anything but near gold plans is over $3K?!?!?

    I would end up on many plans paying about $3K a year in premiums AND $3K+ in deductibles before I started having any insurance kick in. WFT?

    I looked at the GOLD plan with no deductible, and it is about $590/mo...but no deductible and 100% pay. Interesting range of choices, no?

    Sadly, I think we're stuck with obamacare, and it won't be repealed, but it needs to seriously be altered. Why not remove so many of the minimums for the insurance coverage (as an older man, I don't really need prenatal coverage), and open up insurance competition to allow it to cross state lines. I mean, I can buy motorcycle insurance from a national company across lines, why can't I buy health ins across state lines?

    I think we're good with disallowing the pre-existing conditions, but aside from that, I can't see much that helps me or most people at my level of IT income or stage of life that is good about ACA as it currently stands...

  • by Shados (741919) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:52AM (#46472715)

    It is the same problem as in poor parts of Africa too. People don't WANT to be helped.

    If you look in the areas that are against that kind of healthcare, its often poor people in the south, and the ones that are for it are frequently upper middle class in rich cities.

    I'm in Boston. Pretty much everyone is for universal healthcare. No one (in my circles) would benefit from it. We all have pretty much perfect company funded healthcare with little to no deductibles, often with premiums paid by our employer, which let us go to one of the best hospital in the world (MGH) for pretty much no money. If they were to get the money from it from taxes, the same people would be disproportionately affected by them (already in upper tax brackets, at the bottom end of the groups affected by AMT....it hurts)

    Yet these same people who would get NO BENEFIT from it, and would lose a lot of money in the process, are in favor of it. And those who'd get the free lunch are against.

    Now, don't get me wrong. In its current implementation they have a point sometimes: poor people who aren't poor enough to get subsidies and now have to pay premiums are getting hit hard by them, especially if they see themselves invincible and haven't seen an hospital bill in their life. But that wouldn't be an issue if it was fully funded healthcare, not just the bastardized in between that we currently have.

  • by cy (22200) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:53AM (#46472727) Homepage

    Minimums are needed because cross subsidisation is rather integral to having affordable healthcare for everyone. Meaning those who are in the stage of their life that don't need much medical care pay more, but those that do are able to afford it.

    I definitely agree with the suggestion that you need to break the link between healthcare and employment. Because there's obviously a very strong link between unemployment and needing medical care. I love living in a country with universal healthcare funded by taxation. Sure it means that I end up paying a lot more than I otherwise would, but it provides a safety net for everyone - including me should I happen to get unlucky and end up sick and unemployed. People don't end up having to declare bankruptcy because of medical bills or go without life saving medical care. And everyone is able to access a reasonable standard of healthcare (and the wealthier are not restricted from getting gold plated service if they wish to pay for it). But hey I realise that for a lot of Americans that concept is just communism so it'll never happen

  • by andyring (100627) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:30AM (#46473125) Homepage

    I'm definitely calling BS on this one. By huge margins, people were happy with their insurance plans pre-Obamacare (statistics bear this out). I was, and many people I know were too.

    Now, I am worried what will happen when all the regs finally do kick in. I have a great plan now through work for my family and I, and I know if ObamaCare isn't changed or repealed, my out of pocket costs will absolutely jump by hundreds of dollars. Why? Because our plan now doesn't technically cover all the things that ObamaCare mandates (but crap we don't need and never will need like contraceptives, maternity, etc. etc. etc.). Once it's required to cover those things, the costs will absolutely increase, there's no getting around it.

  • by nbauman (624611) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:43AM (#46473251) Homepage Journal

    Here's what Krugman had to say. If you say you did the math, you might be right, but there are a lot of BS health care stories out there. The big benefit of Obamacare is that it limits your (pemium+copayments) to ~$8,000. One big weakness of Obamacare is that when you find an "affordable" plan, it might have a small pool of doctors, it might not have a doctor that you've been using, and it might not have an competent doctors at all. Single payer would have been better, but, as Uwe Reinhardt says, the American political system is too corrupt for that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02... [nytimes.com]
    Health Care Horror Hooey
    Paul Krugman
    FEB. 23, 2014
    (Right-wingers convinced Americans that farms are being broken up to pay "death tax" estate liabilities, but there is not one single example. Now the Republicans are creating Obamacare horror stories, which don't hold up upon fact checking. In the GOP response to the State of the Union address, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers claimed "Bette in Spokane" had lost her good insurance and was forced to pay $700 a month more. Local reporters found the real Betty, and found out [Bette Grenier had a catastrophic plan, and she refused to look on the ACA web site.] In Michigan, Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch Brothers, is running an ad about Julie Boonstra, who has leukemia, saying that her new policy will have unaffordable out-of-pocket costs. But Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post found that she will be saving more than she will be paying in out-of-pocket costs. [The Obamacare out-of-pocket maximum is $6,350. Her premiums were cut in half, from $1,100/mo to $571/mo.])
    [T]he true losers from Obamacare generally aren’t very sympathetic. For the most part, they’re either very affluent people affected by the special taxes that help finance reform, or at least moderately well-off young men in very good health who can no longer buy cheap, minimalist plans. Neither group would play well in tear-jerker ads.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:44AM (#46473259)

    were well below what I was getting with my expensive individual insurance policy a few years ago.

    Of course medical costs were much cheaper a few years ago. Why do you think the ACA finally got enough traction? Insurance costs are outpacing inflation at incredible rates.

    It is worth remembering that insurance companies must comply with regulations requiring them to pay out a percentage of their revenue and ACA gives them more revenue in the form of previously uninsured people being forced to become customers. If your insurance went up during the last few years, it was not the ACA it was either pricier risk factors in your life, or you were underpaying to begin with and the adjusters finally got around to fixing the problem.

    Let me guess; you have teenagers that may start driving soon, already have, or have daughters in an area with above average teen pregnancy rates. Your new employer's insurance will get around to rectifying things out for their own profit soon enough.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:48AM (#46473287) Homepage

    It varies from state to state! Stop saying "The ACA raise health care costs!" then "no it didn't!" "yes it did!" "no it didn't!"

    If the ACA laws match what your state already had, then the plans will remain the same and the costs will remain the same. If the ACA requirements were higher/stricter than what your state required, then your insurance benefits and costs will increase. If the ACA requirements are lower than what your state required, then... I'm not sure...

    I live in Maryland, where most but not all of the ACA rules were already in place. My individual health insurance plan will change very little. It was +/-10% from what my employer offered. The ACA now requires a few provisions that resulted in a nominal increase in my health care costs.

    My local NPR station, WYPR, has had a program "Maryland Morning" where they have been going over this for months. They compared to other states where costs are going up because those states allowed health care plans that covered nothing but hangnails and scraped knees.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @12:36PM (#46474271)

    "Minimums are needed because cross subsidisation is rather integral to having affordable healthcare for everyone."

    Yes. Cross-subsidization (also known as "socialism") has resulted in most people I have spoken to paying 40% to 60% more on their premiums, with a higher deductible.

    It has also resulted in fewer young people with insurance, because their premiums went way up. It's DUMB to raise rates on the demographic that (A) is essential to funding the program, and (B) needs it the least.

    I grant that it is a good thing to get insurance away from ties to "traditional" employment. But doing so through Obamacare is kind of like cleaning your windows by taking a sledgehammer to them.

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