Ready to Sign Up for Obamacare?

December 3, 2013 9:12 am

by Jon Richards · 43 comments

In a December 1st morning news conference I’m sure was timed just coincidentally to hit all the Sunday shows, the folks over at Health & Human Services announced that the healthcare insurance website was fixed and open for business. People who expect to use the Exchange to purchase insurance starting in January have until December 23rd to sign up.

So, how’s it going? According to a story in today’s AJC, maybe not so well.

[Greg] Paulauskis, an early retiree who buys his own health insurance, has also been trying to shop for coverage for himself and his wife since the day the Health Insurance Marketplace opened.

On Monday, he noticed that the website was quicker and that its appearance had changed. He tried to access his application that had been “completed” over the phone with a representative, so that he could finally get to the step of selecting a plan. But the application wasn’t visible on the site. He called and went through another lengthy process to be told, again, what he’s heard before: he can’t see the plans on the site, but the operator could read plan information to him.

Even if you are able to get through and register on healthcare.gov, what you find may not be very appealing. The Washington Examiner took a look at what consumers around the country might find in the health plans available to them.

In metro Atlanta, only 56% of insurers decided to offer insurance through the Exchange. Among the missing, United Healthcare, Aetna and Coventry. Available plans limit your choice of hospitals:

Humana has only one hospital in Atlanta — Northside Hospital — which is Humana’s only exchange hospital in the state. There are about 60 hospitals in the Atlanta [area]. There also are no exchange hospitals available in nearby Gwinnett County, with a population of 805,000.

The article also notes that premiums in the Peach State have risen 80-100% from what was being charged in 2013.

Remember “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”? Yeah, right.

peachpundit (@peachpundit) December 3, 2013 at 9:12 am

New post: Ready to Sign Up for Obamacare? http://t.co/AbVKqyQYeV #gapol

Thomas Adams (@GeorgiaCRE) December 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

Ready to Sign Up for Obamacare? – In a December 1st morning news conference I’m sure was timed just coincidentally… http://t.co/AqJKOR7ssk

Scott65 December 3, 2013 at 10:41 am

…and why are plans more expensive? Ask Ralph Huggins and Gov Deal. Because Georgia refused to participate in the law and negotiate its own exchange, premiums will be higher and choice is more limited. In states that actually did what was best for the majority of their residents, this is not the case. Ralph Huggins shirked his responsibility to this state and to the office he holds, and he seems to be proud of that. There are several ways to look at plans for your area of the state. Unfortunately, I need a PPO type plan and there are none on the exchange so I purchased off exchange. All the rules for minimum coverage still apply. It is also about 1000.00 (yes…not a typo) lower that I would have paid (some wouldn’t even do it at that price), so that 100% higher is pure BS…a talking point designed to keep you from actually looking for coverage. Its also morally disgraceful at this point. You might not like having to pay more, but if you are paying more, its because your income is fairly high, too high to claim the subsidy on the exchange. Let me be the first to cry you a river for your “suffering” at paying maybe 100.00 more a month for insurance that is by law going to be there for you if you get sick with hospitalization, that cant be cancelled if you get sick, that covers cancer screenings like colonoscopy and mammograms that could save your life. Georgia used to have high standards for insurance several years ago. Those in the legislature thought that wasn’t necessary…hows that insurance across state lines workin for ya? That was supposed to be the end all…till a funny thing happened. It didn’t work.

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 11:08 am

If you’re coming from the old individual market, your experience will be one of the following (or a mixture): higher premiums because you were healthy and in the old system and now they have to take everyone, higher or lower premiums but potential cost offsets elsewhere because the new plans may have higher actuarial value for you – if you’re treating a chronic disease you may pay a little less all told, or you were inable to participate in the insurance market due to cost or preexisting condition, in which case you will probably be glad to have any hospitals in network compared to your prior situation.

If you’re coming from the large group employer market, the new premiums in the exchange will likely be about the same as what your employer was paying for similar coverage before – of course if you’re now paying 100% with no subsidy (vs whatever your share was as an employee) that might seem like a rate shock, unless you’ve had an experience with COBRA before where you all of a sudden had to pay the full rack rate and were shocked to see what this stuff costs.

If you’re coming from the small group employer market, the new premiums are likely to be a lot better, with better coverage options. The small group market in Georgia has essentially already been through its death spiral – many companies only maintain coverage because an owner or key employee has an illness or condition and they needed the guaranteed renewal.

I would guess our company is typical – we can buy everyone the Humana Platinum POS plan for the same total price the company was paying for something that was basically a mid silver-gold plan before. And that could be purchased with just the employer contribution, the employees could pocket their prior share of the premium.

Of course – we’ve done a lot of research on this and are taking a wait and see approach before we switch. So our small group will be a “winner” in this ordeal, but we may not cross the finish line until March or later, as we’re currently under contract with an existing plan. The “losers” under the ACA know who they are, represent a minority of the population (but possibly a majority of the former individual market) and they’re making the most noise now. But many of today’s “losers” (like 25 year olds who will be paying more) are actually tomorrow’s winners (if they get a chronic condition at age 40 or decide to have a baby now that maternity coverage is included).

So I wouldn’t cry over too much spilled milk now. If conservatives had passed their own health care plan (like the Price plan) there would also be massive changes. Old plans would go away, new ones would materialize, many companies would drop coverage and move employees to the marketplace – it’s called reform for a reason.

John Konop December 3, 2013 at 11:24 am

Chris,

The truth is neither side wants to deal with cost…..The reason why is lobbyist get in the way….The cost side is not rocket science, but many have vested interest in the current no real cost cut approach…..

Dial Doc and using nurse practitioners ie less money for doctors ie AMA. Politics you will not have your doctor…….

VA Drug Pricing for exchanges and government workers ie less money for drug companies….Politics we will not get new medicine and you will die….are you not having the problem if you cannot afford the drugs?

End of Life cost 60% of what you spend ie Politics death panels and killing grandma….AMA, equipment companies……

I could go on and on…..the truth is both sides love the politics, companies, doctors…. have vested interest in squeezing the system…..I have news it is running out of juice…..

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

No easy answers on this one. ACA implementation has coincided with an historic slowing in the growth rate of medical spending – hard to say at this point how much of it coincidence and how much of it was caused by ACA.

We’re basically taking the approach of get everyone covered first, find out how much it costs, and then work to reduce the costs. Would it be better to reduce the costs first? Maybe, but I doubt you’ll get a political movement in place for that in advance, especially after the failures of the HMO revolution in the 90′s. (People didn’t like it)

DavidTC December 3, 2013 at 11:25 am

It is also about 1000.00 (yes…not a typo) lower that I would have paid (some wouldn’t even do it at that price), so that 100% higher is pure BS…a talking point designed to keep you from actually looking for coverage. Its also morally disgraceful at this point.

I also find it rather astonishing. Have the people repeating the numbers _actually looked_ at the exchange prices? People opposed to the ACA are making a bunch of contradictory claims:

1) They assert that prices are higher on the exchanges.
2) They assert that networks are much smaller.

If people actually know anything about insurance, they’ll know those two things can’t possibly be true at the same time. The smaller the network, the more expensive providers have been trimmed out of it, and the _lower_ costs are.

And, perhaps more to the point, why the hell _would_ prices be higher on the exchanges as opposed to other individual plans? Can anyone who asserts this is true come up with a _single_ logical reason insurance companies might be doing this? Why they would _conceivably_ structure things that way?

Now, the exchange networks _actually are_ narrow, especially at the low end. That is actually an entirely valid complaint.

And, hilariously, it’s a result of _exactly_ what the right has been whining we need in the insurance market: Competition.

Because there is actually now _competition_ in the individual market, and people are actually comparison shopping, insurance companies are, indeed, taking all sorts of cost-trimming measures, like only allowing in the doctors that have 20% lowest reimbursement rates.

And somehow I feel I must point out that, under existing law, you were _never_ able to ‘keep your doctor’. Period. It’s _always_ been at the whim of your insurance company whether or not your doctor stays in your plan. It’s _still_ at the whim of your insurance company, except _now_ you can easily switch insurance companies and they can’t randomly drop you….so, uh, now you have more chance of keeping your doctor, or switching to a different company if they drop your doctor.

I swear to God, it’s like half the people who are repeating these idiotic talking points have literally never had insurance at all.

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I’m a supporter of the law, but it is certainly possible for premiums to be higher than they were, at least for some people. People with chronic conditions who had insurance will get relief, people without them will probably be paying more, and people without insurance will now be in the mix.

Basically the individual market is being converted into one giant group market. Large group insurance has an average actuarial value of something like 80%, the new minimum for bronze is 60%. Many of the old plans on the individual market pre-ACA had an actuarial value of something like 30-40%. So yes, by definition, they’ll be more expensive for some people.

If you’re healthy and basically don’t use health care but have insurance just for the catastrophic risk protection, you’ll be paying more as your plan now covers more (30 goes to 60 or higher in value). If you are treating a chronic condition, or become pregnant or whatever, your costs are probably about the same or lower – just more costs gets shifted from out-of-pocket to the premium.

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 10:52 am

That’s the Humana HMOx plan. From their literature:
Use out-of-network providers wisely – Coverage for services from out-of-network providers is only provided for emergencies or when Humana has given prior authorization.

The POS plans they offer have out of network benefits, of course you’ll have to look stuff like that up if it matters to you.

DavidTC December 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

I’m ready to sign up. I’m already in the system and confirmed and whatnot, but I haven’t picked a plan yet.

It’s the first time in my entire life I’ve actually been allowed to buy insurance, so I find the process slightly confusing, but I’ve been reading about this for a few months, so will be selecting a plan soon.

And anyone who has ever voted to repeal the law without proposing an alternative, which would mean that I would _no longer_ be allowed to purchase insurance, will never, ever, ever get a single vote of mine for any office whatsoever.

Incidentally, how come we never hear about people like me in the news. As I’ve pointed out before, my effective insurance rate has gone down _by infinity percent_. Insurance was infinitely costly, and now it is finitely costly. Surely that warrants a story.

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I’m not an insurance agent, but after doing my own research I would recommend looking at either the Humana POS plans (wide provider network plus I believe out of network coverage, but maybe not on the exchange) or if you prefer an HMO, I have a lot of friends on Kaiser who like it.

Patrick Mayer December 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm

How is it that you were not allowed to purchase insurance before?

DavidTC December 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I was not allowed to purchase it by the people selling it.

mpierce December 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm

How many companies did you try? If pre-existing condition, did you try the PCIP program which started in 2010 (closed this year)?

DavidTC December 5, 2013 at 11:49 am

How many companies did you try?

I applied at, and talked to enough other companies, to learn that someone with a congentical heart defect was not going to be issued insurance. No, I did not actually apply at every company…luckily, most of the people I talked to on the phone were willing to be honest to me and admit that, with my condition, their company was very unlikely to issue insurance, and hence I didn’t have to waste my time only to be turned down.

I find it completely absurd that people seem to think I have to _prove_ this, or explain how it worked, or list point by point what I did. No, I really do not.

I feel like a black man who’s in a discussion about racism, and being asked by white people to ‘list examples’. It is, frankly, insulting. People the insurance company would not issue insurance to _really was_ a thing, and I really was one of them. It is not my job, as a _victim_ of it, to sit and explain how it worked. There are plenty of articles you can read online about the ‘uninsurable’. (And, unlike what some of the other people here seem to think, it was not due to any ‘lifestyle choice’. It’s actually rather hard to cause a large enough medical problem yourself that you now count as having a pre-existing condition. It’s not _impossible_, but something like 90% of pre-existing conditions are just random chance.)

If pre-existing condition, did you try the PCIP program which started in 2010 (closed this year)?

Oh noes! You got me! Yes, I could have gotten insurance under the PCIP. The ACA isn’t the first insurance I could have bought…before that, I could have bought…something else…from the ACA.

Assuming I could have gotten into the thing, that is. The entire thing was broken from the start, and stayed broken and underfunded the entire time.

So the ACA didn’t help me, because, under the ACA, I could have gotten insurance without it. Erm, wait. And if they repeal the ACA, I would be able to get insurance under the PCIP set up under the ACA…wait, no, that doesn’t make sense either. And also the PCIP ends at the end of the year regardless.

So I’m pretty sure my point about the ACA stands, even if _technically_ I was able to purchase _different_ insurance under the ACA for the last few years, assuming that I had actually managed to get in. Of course, I wouldn’t have had the ability to shop for plans, which was what I actually was pointing out I had never been able to do.

mpierce December 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Yes, people not being able to get insurance was a real thing. But that doesn’t mean I should accept your claim that this is the “first time in my entire life I’ve actually been allowed to buy insurance”. A claim you admit was false as you could have bought insurance in 2010.

Yes that program was from the ACA. I never claimed it wasn’t or that the ACA wasn’t beneficial to you (and millions of others). I merely doubted your claim.

Why should I care that you are insulted? Is it my job to accept everything you say as gospel? If you don’t want to explain yourself then don’t. Other readers can make up their own mind whether or not to believe you.

As far as your “black man” analogy. The fact that racism exists doesn’t make all claims of racism true.

DavidTC December 9, 2013 at 10:09 am

I love the fact you literally have _no point_ to your entire post.

So, basically, what I said was, in fact, entirely true, because because the fact is that Obamacare will, indeed, allow me to purchase insurance for the first time in my life.

You, however, have managed to somehow ‘disprove’ this and win some sort of idiot victory, because _you_ think I somehow said ‘Before this year’ in my post.

Here’s a hint in how actual people talk: When they say I am going to do X, I never was allowed before’, there is absolutely no requirement that they were barred from X until literally that moment.

‘I’ve been working here for a decade and I was never able to get away from work for a vacation until now.’ ‘Lair! You could have gone last month!’

Why should I care that you are insulted? Is it my job to accept everything you say as gospel?

It is perhaps your job to _knows that uninsurable people actually exist_. And not run around randomly challenging people that assert they are such people.

As far as your “black man” analogy. The fact that racism exists doesn’t make all claims of racism true.

We _know_, as an actual undeniable fact, that insurance companies refused to insure certain people. This is not something that is up for debate, this is not something that we could have difference of opinion about, this is something that is _true_. It is not something I have to _prove_.

If you think the existence of uninsurable people is something I have to prove, than what has actually been proven is that you literally are not competent enough to participate in a a discussion about health insurance. You have leapt into an engineering discussion and asked people to demonstrate gravity, or entered into economics discussion and asked how supply and demand works. You are an idiot, and please go away.

The only thing you could possibly be disputing, assuming you are not such an idiot, would be whether or not _I_ was one of those people.

So, moron. I didn’t do the equivalent of ‘claiming’ I was discriminated against. I did the equivalent of, in 1966, of asserting in a discussion on civil rights that I used to be barred from certain drinking fountains, because I was black . And you, confused, asked how this could be, and whether I had _asked politely_ to use those water fountains.

Either you have no idea that Jim Crows law exist, in which case you’re an idiot and please stay away from future discussions about civil rights^W^Whealth insurance, or you’re an gigantic ass who feels that victims of systematic, _deliberate_ discrimination (Which literally no one denies existed) should be questioned to make sure they aren’t making something up.

mpierce December 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

It’s the first time in my entire life I’ve actually been allowed to buy insurance, so I find the process slightly confusing, but I’ve been reading about this for a few months, so will be selecting a plan soon.

Ah yes, you’ve been reading about this for a few months, and I should read “It’s the first time” as starting 3 1/2 years ago.

And “I feel like a black man who’s in a discussion about racism, and being asked by white people to ‘list examples’.” clearly refers to 1966 instead of the present.

But somehow “Yes, people not being able to get insurance was a real thing” and “The fact that racism exists” were unclear on my part? And you think I’m the idiot???

DavidTC December 11, 2013 at 11:10 am

Ah yes, you’ve been reading about this for a few months, and I should read “It’s the first time” as starting 3 1/2 years ago.

Because I wasn’t able to shop for insurance on the exchanges until a few months ago. I couldn’t have read about the differences between the plans on the exchange until the exchanges _opened_.

I could not have comparison-shopped between plans _until I was able to choose a plan_, which you can’t do under the PCIP. (You just get whatever you get.)

(And this is where you point out I could have, indeed, comparison shopped for among plans I could not have actually purchased. So I guess I’m _lying_ again.)

And “I feel like a black man who’s in a discussion about racism, and being asked by white people to ‘list examples’.” clearly refers to 1966 instead of the present.

Erm, you apparently entirely missed the point there. The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. I.e., in my hypothetical, it _is_ years later.

In 1966:
Me: ‘I love the Civil Rights Act. I was never able to drink at that fountain before.’
You: ‘ Did you try asking politely to drink there? And did you try drinking there last year?’
Me: ‘You realize segregation was actually a state-wide _law_, right? And I am aware I could have drank that last year, which the Civil Rights Act has now _enabled_. Saying ‘I never was able’ does not imply that I became able at _this exact moment_. ‘
You: ‘Oh, sure, _some_ people were denied from drinking at that fountain, but as you are clearly a liar who said you weren’t able to drink at that fountain, I don’t know why I should accept your claim that you were one of those people’.
Me: ‘…you’re a complete idiot, aren’t you?’

Wait, I haven’t said that yet.

You’re a complete idiot, aren’t you? This discussion is over.

Harry December 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

If you’re a smoker, drive drunk, engage in in risky sex, or have a drug dependency, don’t sweat it – others will pay for your lifestyle choices.

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Smoker – you’ll be on Medicare eventually and others will be paying for it.

Drive drunk – emergency room, many decisions about your health probably made before you become aware, this already happens. No insurance, hospital writes off the bill – already happens.

Risky sex – pregnancy, if you’re poor, Medicaid, others already pay for it, or worst case HIV/STD probably treated with Medicaid/Medicare eventually, we’re already paying for it or charity care at a clinic/hospital, those with insurance paying for it via higher prices for those who can pay.

Drug dependency – others pay for you to be in jail, clinic, welfare etc.

The capacity of conservatives to pretend like these costs and problems weren’t already being paid for by others (either through direct government spending or higher costs for those with insurance) is really amazing to me. This stuff was already a problem before Obamacare was passed. It was so much of a problem that Obama, Hillary, Edwards, McCain, Romney etc all had major health reform plans – key word being reform – no one in 2008 was defending the existing system anywhere near a wholesale level.

The prescriptions for reform may have been different, but major changes were going to happen no matter who won, assuming Republicans had tried to implement their reform had McCain won (it seems likely Romney would have done something very similar to Obamacare had he won in 2008 but we’ll never know).

The way many Republicans talk about health care reform would be like if after 9/11 everytime someone complained about extra security at an airport the Democrats insisted that it wasn’t needed because no one ever hijacked a plane before.

Harry December 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm

The difference is, if one is uninsured or leading a risky lifestyle either one pays or the system takes everything one possesses prior to hitting one’s fellow citizens. Under Obamacare, bad behavior is not penalized with higher premiums and/or there is no forfeiture of assets.

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 11:56 pm

They charge more for smoking, as for the other ones well I guess you are technically correct but that’s a tough argument to make.

Harry December 4, 2013 at 12:17 am

Why is it a tough argument? The insurance companies have heretofore always rated lifestyle risks, but Obamacare mandates spreading the cost to less risky, conservative people. The wages of sin is death, but the cost of it is supposed to be carried by the rest us? This will not stand.

Harry December 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm
DavidTC December 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Please list a single ‘lifestyle choice’ that insurance company judged people on _besides_ smoking.

Harry December 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

They use any and all information they can discover and rightfully so. Divorce, DUIs, medical records – what would cause you to think otherwise?

DavidTC December 5, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Divorce

No they don’t. (A lot of people lose their insurance when they divorce, but that’s simply because they are on their spouses’s plan.)

Health insurance companies do not charge more to divorced people, or even to unmarried people.

DUIs

A DUI isn’t a ‘lifestyle choice’. It is an _event_.

And the idea that DUIs cause your health insurance rates to change is almost entirely a myth. What will cause your rates to change is indications of alcohol abuse.

Not because of the abuse per se. If that were so, they would be fine with you having problems in the past, but no longer having them.

No, they’ll charge you more, or deny your claim, because you almost certainly have the pre-existing condition of liver damage.

So, congratulations. You sorta got this right. If you have a lifestyle choice that _causes pre-existing conditions_, insurance companies do not like it. It’s the same reason they don’t like smokers.

I’m sure you think that proves your point, but it actually rather proves mine: Health insurance companies don’t give a damn about your ‘lifestyle choices’. They care solely about pre-existing conditions.

Which you think is just another way of saying ‘lifestyle choices’, but that’s because you’re a fool who doesn’t know that something like 90% of medical problems have absolutely nothing to do with the behavior of the victim, or was caused by perfectly normal human behavior like walking down stairs.

medical records

Ah, yes, ‘medical records’, the new and exciting lifestyle choice. Young people dressed in manila, or ‘recordees’, as they call themselves, spend hours standing inside giant filing cabinets front to back with other recordees, experiencing the thrill of _being_ a medical record.

WTF are you talking about? Do you even speak English? Do you understand what a ‘choice’ is? Medical records is not a lifestyle choice.

Wow, I really expected you to list some actual _risky behavior_ like skydiving or something, and I’d have to point out that health insurance does not charge more for those people. But you actually only managed to figure out one out of the three you listed.

Harry December 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Question: Do you not think insurance companies have the right to assign risks using whatever means they choose to develop a profile? I think they should have that right and and not be restrained to any politically correct government mandates.

DavidTC December 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

Erm, I had no opinion stated on whether or not they _should_ be able to judge people based on lifestyle choices.

What I asserted was that insurance companies _don’t_ judge people by ‘lifestyle choices’, because almost no lifestyle choices correspond with _medical costs_, and hence it would be totally absurd for insurance companies to set rates based on ‘lifestyle choices’.

Smoking (aka deliberately poisoning yourself several times a day) is pretty much the sole exception there. (DUIs are more a game of ‘Can we guess, statistically, if a person has poisoned their liver, without realizing it yet, based on a single random interaction with the police?’. The answer, statistically, really was ‘no’, because being caught driving under the influence is only barely correlated with heavy drinking. But some insurance companies kept trying to guess.)

Whether or not they have the ‘right’ to assign risks based on whatever they want is an entirely different thing. _I_ was pointing out that 99% of the things they used _to_ assign those risks are things like gender and age and previous medical history caused by things entirely out of the person’s control.

One could almost imagine, in fact, that you think the answer would be that people think insurance companies _shouldn’t_ have the right to charge people more because they have a heart defect or were born with a vagina or black skin, and thus this entire nonsense of completely irrelevant ‘lifestyle choices’ is merely a way to confuse the issue by fixating on something that is relevant to maybe 1% of insurance rates.

mpierce December 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm

A DUI isn’t a ‘lifestyle choice’. It is an _event_.

An event caused by a ‘lifestyle choice’.

DavidTC December 11, 2013 at 11:08 am

As I pointed out, DUIs _do not cause your health insurance rates to rise_. That is a complete myth.

Health insurance companies do not give a damn if you drink. They don’t even give a damn if you drink and drive. Why? Because it does not cost them money, because _they do not pay medical bills resulting from DUIs_. (It’s the same reason they don’t care if you’re a professional skydiver.)

But signs of a serious drinking problem (Either current or _prior_) are assumed to be a sign of a pre-existing condition of liver damage. And they do care if you have a non-functional liver. And thus if they have any sort of evidence _of_ a drinking problem at any point in your life, they will attempt to not insure you, or put you in a special high-risk plan, assuming they are allowed to do so by law.

A DUI _is_ a sign of a ‘drinking problem’ in the sense that’s not something that people should be doing, but it’s not actually any sort of evidence that people have been drinking enough to harm their liver, and the _lack_ of a DUI is not evidence they are not. _Some_ insurance companies have started using DUIs as an indicator of over-drinking, but it does not really correspond well with the risk of liver damage. (Unlike smoking, which _does_ correspond very well with the risk of getting lung cancer and health disease.) If you have been rejected for that reason, you could simply pick another provider.

However, in sense, Harry was right…they do indeed care about a ‘lifestyle choice’, in that there are specific lifestyle choices that are very damaging to specific aspects of your health, although saying it that way is vastly over-simplifying it…they’d also care, in exactly the same way, if you were maliciously poisoned as a child and took liver damage. Basically, they care about the state of your liver, not how it got there.

And people who try to emphasis ‘lifestyle choices’ are idiots and unaware of how this process actually works. Harry appears to think it’s a large part of how insurance companies weigh risks, when in actuality there are very few medical conditions can be caused by actual human choice(1), and even less that insurance companies care about.

1) Basically, ones insurance companies care about are various means of poisoning yourself. There’s not a lot of other ways people voluntarily harm themselves in any meaningful number.

Harry December 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Sexual promiscuity is one lifestyle choice tresulting in significant health risk. I’d like to see the study which shows that homosexual marriage (not necessarily lesbian, but homosexual marriage) has a positive effect on the risks associated with that lifestyle choice. I’m not holding my breath. Does the legalization of homosexual marriage have any material positive effect on promiscuity, or organic damage, or mental health issues? I doubt it.

griftdrift December 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Harry I do love your affinity for the golden oldies

seenbetrdayz December 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I think Obama is gonna lose a lot of young voters over this. But unless the GOP can restrain itself from yelling ‘war’ every time Iran looks at us funny, it’ll miss out on gaining any support from the defection.

Chris Huttman December 3, 2013 at 11:56 pm

You mean all those self-employed young voters making more than $45,000/year?

seenbetrdayz December 4, 2013 at 6:37 am

No, I mean the ones that would like to make 45,000 a year but instead they have to pay Big Insurance Co. exorbitant rates or face fines.

5 years ago I was looking move out into my own home but thanks to the Republican bailout of Wall Street Mega-Banks, prices of homes shot back up and I had to put those plans on hold.

These days, it’s the Democrats bailing out Big Insurance and driving up costs for young people. How many more plans will be put on hold by people looking to avoid IRS penalties?

The GOP sucks when it comes to young people and everyone knows it. What’s about to be realized, however, is that the Democrats have been taking the 18-29 age group’s support for granted.

Chris Huttman December 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing. Catastrophic plan for 19 year old is $77/mo. For 29 year old it is $130. Penalty is $650/year.

This is what’s preventing people from making it in the world?

mpierce December 4, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Penalty is greater of $95 or 1% of income ($285 max) per yr.
$77/mo = $924/yr

Given the higher cost and the $6350 deductible, I would guess many will choose the penalty.

Harry December 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I guess it’s no secret I’m advising my young/middle-aged healthy clients who are in low risk occupations and lifestyles, to opt out.

Bull Moose December 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

I don’t know that all this is that correct and just further illustrates the lack of accurate information being put forth by various parties.

When you go to healthcare.gov, even if you have not created an account, you can easily go to the option to “See Plans Before I Apply” https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/ and enter some basic information and see the plans available for consideration.

Georgians would have been better served had our Governor, State Legislature, and Insurance Commissioner set up a state exchange and not turn over that duty to the federal government.

mpierce December 4, 2013 at 8:57 am
Chris Huttman December 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I know previously you just selected under 49 or over 49, now you actually put the age in and it seems to change. Of course you can also go direct to Humana or BCBSGA and put in your info and it will tell you the unsubsidized costs.

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