A Happy ObamaCares Story
TPM posted a a great ACA story from one of its readers.
I’ve an Obamacare story – a happy one! – I thought I’d share with you, because I suspect I’m representative of a demographic that’s not getting a lot of ink.
I’ve bought health insurance on the individual market for a decade. Since 2007, when my youngest was born, I’ve had the same BC&BS policy to cover the whole family (me, wife, two kids, no major health issues). It’s roughly equivalent to a silver plan, albeit a fairly tarnished silver—no maternity, for instance—and it’s more than doubled in the past six years, from $684 a month in ’07 to $1,457 now. Our plan is grandfathered, so we could keep it, a fact BC&BS reminded us of in a cheery mailer. If we did nothing, we’d be rolled over on January 1 with a new premium of $1,549 a month for our same silvery plan.
Or we could go through the exchange (which, in fairness, BC&BS did mention in that same mailer).Because I live in the North Carolina—currently run by dicks—that meant using healthcare.gov. Yes, it was frustrating for a couple of months; and, yes, the system is still glitchy (I had to reapply a bunch of times because it kept telling me my 8-year-old wasn’t eligible). But I got through the entire process yesterday, and enrolled us in a BC&BS platinum plan that includes dental for the kids and caps my out-of-pocket at $3,000 a year. Without a subsidy, that plan goes for $1,280 a month—almost $300 cheaper than my current, crappier insurance with the same goddamned company. With the subsidy, it drops to $770.Once I factor in the lower co-pays, the dental, and the far cheaper premiums, I’m going to save at least $12,000 this year. No, that’s not quite right: I’m probably going to spend most of it, maybe replace our 12-year-old bed or my 13-year-old car or our 20-year-old washing machine—all things we’ve put off for years while we shoveled money to those skimming middlemen. I can’t believe my situation is unique, so multiply me by a few million individual-market serfs and that’s an enormous amount of money that’s going to start circulating through the productive economy.
Of course, I could have saved more with a silver plan, but I’d rather over-insure if I can afford it. And I still want single-payer. But this is a colossal relief for the time being.
And yet a political party that professes to love its country is doing all it can to make sure that this guy and tens of millions like him go back to paying higher premiums for crappy policies or, worse, go uninsured. This is why you never want a government “run by dicks.”