And while my daughter is not yet past the first trimester – a critical time – Obamacare is already reaching it’s ugly tentacles into her life.
Now fortunately, her husband has a good job that provides really great Health Insurance. And while the Obamacare mandatory coverages have caused pretty good sized increases for all of us, they were not forced into the horror pits of trying to obtain coverage through healthcare.gov – the dysfunctional Obamacare website.
But the fallout from those that signed up for Obamacare is reaching into the pockets of my daughter and son in law.
What we, the opponents of this government takeover of healthcare, have been warning about is about to0 become painfully apparent as each day of 2014 passes. We are already seeing the frustration and anger of people who signed up for Obamacare, paid good money and were turned away for services because they could not confirm coverage from the broken Obamacare system.
According to The Daily Mail:
Hospital staff in Northern Virginia are turning away sick people on a frigid Thursday morning because they can’t determine whether their Obamacare insurance plans are in effect.
Patients in a close-in DC suburb who think they’ve signed up for new insurance plans are struggling to show their December enrollments are in force, and health care administrators aren’t taking their word for it.
In place of quick service and painless billing, these Virginians are now facing the threat of sticker-shock that comes with bills they can’t afford.
‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!’ a coughing Maria Galvez told MailOnline outside the Inova Healthplex facility in the town of Springfield.
She was leaving the building without getting a needed chest x-ray.
‘The people in there told me that since I didn’t have an insurance card, I would be billed for the whole cost of the x-ray,’ Galvez said, her young daughter in tow. ‘It’s not fair – you know, I signed up last week like I was supposed to.’
The x-ray’s cost, she was told, would likely be more than $500.
According to Kaiser Health News your new Bronze Plan may actually not pay a dime of doctor’s costs until you meet your annual deductible of $5,000.If you buy one of the less expensive insurance plans sold through the health law’s marketplaces, you may be in for a surprise. Some plans will not pay for a doctor visit before you meet your annual deductible, which could be thousands of dollars.
“This could be the next shoe to drop, as people don’t realize that if they’re buying a bronze plan, they may have to pay $5,000 out of pocket before it contributes a penny,” said Carl McDonald, senior analyst with Citi Investment Research, speaking at a Washington, D.C., conference last month.
Experts worry that some enrollees will be discouraged from seeing doctors if they have to pay the full charge, rather than simply a copayment.
Those who’ve bought their own insurance have always had to pay a set annual sum, called a deductible, before policies begin paying their claims. But first-time insurance buyers may not realize they’re on the hook for additional costs before benefits kick in, and may choose a plan based solely on the monthly premiums.
Bronze and silver plans — which have lower monthly costs but typically, higher deductibles — are the most likely to require consumers to spend that amount themselves before the insurer pays any claims. There is no nationwide data on how many do that. But in seven major cities, half of bronze plans on average require policyholders meet the deductible before insurers help with the cost of a doctor visit, according to an analysis by eHealthinsurance.com, a private online marketplace, for Kaiser Health News. Patients in those plans who haven’t yet met their annual deductible would have to pay the full cost of the visit, unless it was for a preventive service mandated by the law. A typical office visit can run $65 to $85, while more complex visits can cost more.
But what about pregnant Mom’s that have a Bronze Obamacare plan? What are they going to have to pay?
According to the Washington Post one year ago (and place bets on the price going mush higher this year):
“The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section,” Rosenthal reported, “with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866.” That data comes from a Truven Analytics report that recently looked at the high cost of pregnancy in the United States.
So under the Bronze Plan we are looking at the new Mom getting a bill for between $12,000 and $20,000 with Obamacare paying 60% and Mom getting the rest. And remember, the monthly premium is generally over $100 per month on the very low side and you may be paying several hundred per month. And that will go up with the new baby on top of the $5,000 you must pay out before the health care payments kick in.
So what we will be seeing this year is people who thought they had good coverage will be getting bills for medical services that are going to be – in many cases – more than they make in a year. And there will be many ongoing doctor’s visits for Mom and baby, inoculations, check-ups and the usual colds, infections, etc.
And then there are car seats, diapers, bottles, clothes and it goes on and on.
So it was not really surprising when my daughter told me that she was being placed on a monthly payment plan – at 9 weeks in her pregnancy – for the next 10 months to pre-pay the doctor’s portion of her deductible. Obviously they want first claim on the limited dollars the new Mom has available, knowing that after the hospital chimes in with their monetary demands they are likely to be forced to take the new Mom to court for their money. Medical collections will be the one industry that I expect to see boom after the bills start aging.
And it seems a pretty small leap to see that going forward, almost any non life threatening surgery will require a payment in advance arrangement before surgery will be performed. Need a knee? Just $100 a month for the next 36 months and you can have that shiny new knee and we will kick in anesthesia at half price!
That may be fine if you are an Obamacare signup specialist. All you do is sit on your ass every day and give people wrong advice. But what if you are a painter or a roofer? Or someone that needs the surgery to continue their job?
And then there is the backlash that is sure to come. If you believed Barack Obama and signed up for a Bronze plan because the others were a lot more expensive thinking you had insurance, and you visited your doctor or a hospital and were forced to pay in full because you have not met your out of pocket amount for the year, would you feel you are getting your money’s worth? Even if you get a good subsidy (that I am paying)?
Is “free” health insurance really free or “affordable” when you have to pay the first $5,000 out of pocket?
And from what we are hearing, the subsidies are a lot harder to get than people were led to believe.
I have said it before. I own an Insurance Agency. We don’t deal with healthcare, just Auto. But every day we make dozens of “cancel calls” to those who are about to have their insurance cancelled for non-payment. And each and every day, many of those don’t pay. And they drive into the office in a few days completely uninsured to reinstate their policy or write a new one.
Some don’t come back at all. One would hope that they got a policy with one of my competitors. But often they come back in 6 months or longer and have been driving uninsured the whole time.
So what happens when the policy holder fails to pay and their policy becomes canceled? Some months, after paying rent, and buying cigarettes there just isn’t anything left for insurance. And my informal survey tells me that people in the little to no subsidy demographic – or the working poor which is who they really are – place their cell phone one step higher than insurance – what will happen to them? Will they get a tax penalty next year for a policy cancellation? Is it pro rated?
I can honestly say we have a number of people on monthly plans. The plans are actually 12 months, but they pay the initial payment and then come back well after it cancelled and write a new policy.
And many of these plans are set to draft an account. We actually try really hard to have people stick with a direct bill plan. There is as close to a 100% chance of something screwing up with automatic drafts as anything I know in life.
Will these people get a penalty?
As the reality of Obamacare rears it’s ugly head and people who find that their plan takes their money every month and each and every time they use it they must pay through the nose, this is going to get interesting.
And it is also going to keep people who are now insured from seeking medical attention because they can’t afford the portion of the bill they are going to have to pay. And as usual, the Liberals try to solve a problem and end up making it worse and more expensive. And destroy what halfway worked in the process.
I’m just going to start telling the doctors and hospitals I am an illegal alien. They still get a free ride, right?
At least until they give them all Amnesty. Then they are all screwed like the rest of us.