Skip to comments.Millions are Losing Their Health Insurance
Posted on 10/12/2013 4:33:53 AM PDT by Kaslin
"If you like your health insurance you can keep it," Barack Obama promised the voters on many occasions.
About 20,000 part-time employees of Home Depot recently found out how false that promise is. The company announced that it is ending its health insurance coverage for its employees and sending them to the new health insurance exchanges.
They will be joined by employees of McDonald's, Disney, CVS Caremark, Staples, Blockbuster, and many others.
A lot of these employers have mini med plans with limited coverage. McDonald's, for example, has a plan that limits health insurance benefit to $2,000 but gives employees the option to pay a higher premium and get $3,000 or $4,000 of coverage. At Home Depot, the coverage reaches $5,000. The state of Tennessee, under TennCare, used mini med plans with a $25,000 annual cap on benefits.
Mini med plans typically have no deductible. They usually charge a modest copayment for physician visits and drugs. But if a McDonald's employee goes into a hospital, the co-insurance rate is 30% and the plan's benefit cap will probably be blown right through after the first 30 minutes of admission.
These plans are being abolished under ObamaCare and if the employees end up in one of the new health insurance exchanges they will get subsidized insurance that will look very different. For one thing, the premium the employee pays will double and for many it will more than double. Then they will face, say, a $1,500 deductible for individual coverage. Surprisingly, if the employee goes into a hospital he faces a 20% copayment (comparable to the mini med plans!), but the total out of pocket exposure is limited to $2,250.
Now, which of these plans is better? For the orthodox health policy community, this isn't even a serious question. That's because they live in neighborhoods and associate with people who would never even consider buying mini med coverage. And, remember, imposing one's worldview on others is 90% of what liberalism is all about.
But would you be surprised to learn that there are many people who would find the mini med plan more attractive?
Let's begin by asking why anyone wants insurance. In every other field, the answer is obvious. Insurance protects assets. Life insurance protects the value of human capital. Fire and casualty insurance protects homes, cars and other structures. People are willing to pay a premium to transfer the risk of a financial catastrophe to others. The same should be true in health care as well. Health insurance is a way of protecting one's financial resources against the expense of a catastrophic illness.
But if you don't own a house, you have no need for homeowners insurance. If you don't own a car, you have no need for auto casualty insurance. Similarly, if you have no assets at all (other than your human capital) why would you want health insurance?
For low and moderate income households, the reason why mini med plans are attractive seems to be this: People living paycheck to paycheck have trouble maintaining a reserve for unexpected medical expenses. So as an alternative to personal savings and higher wages, they appear to be willing to take less in take home pay in return for a modest amount of health insurance.
Okay, all that is rational. But what would be irrational is to buy a health insurance plan with an unlimited benefit ? one that, say, is able to pay a $1 million medical bill. Why would you buy a million dollars' worth of coverage, if you don't have a million dollars of assets to protect?
In the modern era, a perverse idea seems to have dominated the health policy community. The idea is that the purpose of health insurance is not to protect assets. It is to provide access to health care.
That might make some sense if it were really true. But the fact is that we have made it extremely easy in this country to obtain health insurance after you get sick. More than 90% of all the people with health insurance are in a plan that cannot deny them admission because of a health condition. For the elderly and the poor, it's 100%. In saying what I am about to say, let me preface by saying that I am aware that there are many very, very bad studies claiming that health insurance saves lives, improves health, etc. But when serious scholars have looked at this question, the reasons to think that health insurance affects mortality or health status are few. If health insurance affects health at all, the effect is marginal.
So, back to the original question. If you are making say, $15, $20 or $25 an hour, the ObamaCare plan is unlikely to look very attractive. Yes, it provides catastrophic insurance, which the mini med plan does not. But if you have a catastrophic medical event without ObamaCare insurance, odds are that you will be able to rely on the social safety net ? uncompensated care or even Medicaid. And if that doesn't work, odds are that you or a member of your family will be able to sign up for an employer plan that pays full expenses.
People with modest incomes are going to need help from others if they have a catastrophic medical event. What's the best way of getting help? Is it by obtaining subsidized health insurance with high deductibles and high out-of-pocket payments? Or is it through obtaining help to pay medical bills after the event occurs?
Ironically, the very people that ObamaCare is designed to help may be the ones most hurt by its enactment.
But I am open to the possibility that I am wrong. So let's entertain a market test. Instead of abolishing mini med plans, let people choose between those plans and ObamaCare's mandated benefits. Let's give people what they want.
>> “If you like your health insurance you can keep it,” Barack Obama promised
Obama is a liar.
When these companies drop health benefits I wonder if they compensate the employee with the money they save or do the stock holders benefit?
and the media crucified the elder Bush on “ no new taxes” but remains silent on “ if you like your health insurance, or doctor you can keep them”
Paraphrasing the devils words......
Most of these folks on Mini meds are low information voters.
When they realize how screwed they are, will they still vote for Democrats?
Democrats may be killing themselves. Hopefully they are.
BOTH Parties support statism and RomneyCARE/ObamaCARE.
Built in design.
The only purpose of Obamacare has nothing to do with ‘providing health care or health insurance’.
But, but, but...you SAID...
A patient of mine (in a very BLUE state that has fervently embraced Obamacare) recently lost her health insurance. She told me that she attempted to enroll this past week on the state exchange and, after many consultations, they couldn’t determine for her how she should enter her income correctly. Wow. She was told they’ll have a “team of experts” to help assist her in a few weeks. As of now, she’s in limbo and has to wait. If the BLUE states are having trouble with this debacle then it cannot possibly survive.
He is a liberal!
All liberals lie!
They can not help it!
Lying comes natural to them!!!
I have lost my Medicare Advantage. At least if I want to keep my doctor I have.
The group and the insurer will not renew this year’s contract. No contract no doctor.
The doctor will accept a limited number of insurers but will not accept any new medicare patients. Medicare Advantage is acceptable but not ordinary medicare.
She better keep an eye on her bank account
Obamacare was crafted to add to the bottom line of the big insurance companies, then sold via State Media to the sheeple. The insurance companies profit, the politicians profit thru kickback donations from the insurance companies. Well, two out of three ain't bad.
'Bout says it all.
Ironically, the very people that ObamaCare is designed to help may be the ones most hurt by its enactment.
Liberalism strikes again.
You should have told her the most feared words in America, "We are from the government; we are here to help you".
Please stop reminding me of my huge mistake.
“She better keep an eye on her bank account”
People should seriously focus on plans to transfer their wealth to the next generation; these crappy plans being offered will ensure that your entire estate is subject to liens by the time you’re in the ground. I believe this WAS an intended consequence of destoying the current (imperfect) healthcare model.
Re: the cartoon
Not quite a furnace.
The huge pile of money is being ‘redistributed’ to Obama’s “favorite people”. No, not those who you think. Only a small portion goes to them (low info voters).
Most went to his “buddies”.
“When they realize how screwed they are, will they still vote for Democrats?”
Probably; the crappy plans they can get will probably be completely free for them after they are subsidized by us. The real sting will be felt by the middle class, not the fast-food workers; they will pay high prices for crappy plans while subsidizing another freebie for the low-IQ crowd.
LOL I know my company won't even give me half of the "benefit" for not signing on to health care.
Not a shot in hell. The evil overlords will promise to "fix" it and the votes will flow.
My individual Blue Cross plan is being cancelled Jan. 1, so I join the ranks of those who need to find a new plan. My state, VA, does not have its own exchange so if I can’t find a private plan, I am at the mercy of Obamacare. I’m not going near that website until I absolutely have to.
Heck...We can’t keep our present plan with Aetna. We received a letter from them with the new website to go to and see what is available. Was able to get on it once but since then it says it is unavailable...call...so I finally called got through and was told it was the wrong number! The woman said...you have until November 25 to change the plan BUT next year you have to a change to an ACA compliant plan. I am so sick of this crap!!
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The rats forced President Bush 41 to break his promise and that is a fact.
But only when his lips move (which thy do constantly).
Then why did so many big insurers opt out?
It might seem to some right now that Obama is supporting the insurance companies, but I believe that his end game is to destroy all the health care insurance companies in America & have only the government providing any kind of services or coverage. The followup to that will be controlling all doctors & other medically trained persons.
The few insurance companies that survive the first round won’t be surviving when he gets Obamacare into every nook & cranny of the country.
that is another reason why we need to stop ObAmacare right now.
I recall Hillary when she was trying to get same in the early 90’s.
She also declared that the GOVERNMENT would decide who could go to medical school & how many doctors there could be. She also declared that for the privilege of going to medical school—which privilege you were paying for——where you could practice your medicine so she could ‘make sure’ there was enough coverage all over the USA, including the Indian Reservations.
That caused a drastic drop in the enrollment in the medical school. That enrollment didn’t recover fully, and only somewhat when her Hillarycare was shot down.
Keep in mind that currently, health care in the USA is about 18% of the entire economy.
Keep in mind also, that in a country like Venezuela, they cannot even get companies to produce enough toilet paper-—so the current president of same has ‘taken over’ the toilet paper manufacturing there.
What happens of there is a severe outbreak of Tuberculosis? TB is already a problem in this country from the unfettered ingress across our ‘border’. There won’t be enough medical staff to take care of it. Whooping Cough, which we had eradicated, is also back- & it doesn’t respond to antibiotics. ANY severe outbreak of something serious, & we are close to the consequences of the plague in Europe years ago, IMO.
There is a satellite operation of a local hospital 25 miles from me called “URGENT CARE”. That sounds just fine—until you walk up to the door & see that their ‘urgent’ hours are 8-5.
Don’t have a problem anywhere between 5 PM and 8 AM the next day, I guess. So, the title of the company itself is a lie.
This whole mess is like a minnow trying to swallow a whale. Just because Obama says things are fine, I don’t believe one word anyone in his administration says.
You may very well be right but considering that 1) pre-existing conditions are now covered and 2) there are no lifetime limits if I were an insurance carrier I'd simply get out of the business.
In my opinion you simply cannot raise premiums enough to cover those two items and stay in business or at least make your 3% profit margin.
Liar, hell. The dude drips evil (and Reggie Love's relish).
Humana pulled my supplemental insurance as well. Can’t find a replacement insurer yet... I better not get sick!
Interesting....... is your primary physician associated with a group?
My group is no longer accepting new medicare patients but did not drop the existing. They are forcing medicare advantage because it is less expensive to deal with
This happened last year too I panicked and signed up with Humana for Medicare Advantage. Later that day after I was told by both parties that the deal was off they reached agreement. They both sent emails.
The next day I cancelled with Humana and reupped with United.
I hope for agreement yet. Both parties have a lot of patient/customers locally and money on the line
SunTrust to eliminate Charlotte jobs as part of nationwide cuts
By Deon Roberts
Posted: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
SunTrust Banks said Tuesday it will eliminate 800 jobs nationwide, including in Charlotte, the result of a slowdown in its home-loan refinancing business.
The Atlanta-based company declined to disclose how many jobs would be eliminated in Charlotte or specific locations, such as its loan sales center near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. A year ago, the bank announced plans to boost employment at the center by 100, back when the refinancing boom was still going strong.
Biden said before the first term that the things they were going to do would make people hate them.
It is the only honest one in the bunch and that is because he can’t stop his motor mouth.