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I have an idea for an add-on plan option to the Exchanges; it would work well for people like me and I don't think, as long as the details were worked out, would hurt anything about the new program.

Also, easy responses to both Right and 'Left' complainers about Obamacare policy $$$.

First, the idea for a new plan option:

Personally, I currently have a high-deductible plan. I have enough liquid assets that I can cover my deductible in the case of a catastrophic injury or illness, have a (high) copay for a specialist visit, 2 free preventative care visits per year, and cheap generic drugs. Works fine for me, who has to worry about just me.

My rate will almost surely be more expensive under Obamacare plans than what I currently pay, because none of the options can be as stripped as mine currently is right now.

Now, while I know I'll be getting more from my more expensive insurance, if I could put enough funds into a tax-exempt account that could be verified annually as sufficient to cover a high deductible (and thus be allowed to take on a cheaper monthly plan), I'd sign right up for that, and I think many others in my same situation would do so as well.

So, instead of $205ish, I pay $80-$100/mo, and have say $8k in a protected account that i have to maintain in order to stay qualified for that plan. I have to submit an annual statement with my taxes that shows I maintained an average balance of at least that plan's deductible in the account.

How's that sound?

****

Also, easy response to the oft-unresearched, oft-context-less complaints from both the Rightwingers and our supposed allies around here and other Lefty realms about Obamacare premiums:

Whines from the Right: 'OK. Would you be willing to sign up for a plan that requires you to pay, in full, for any and all medical services prior to receiving them? You'll probably need to have a bank account # on file in case you're unconscious. Or, they just let you die.'

Complaints from the 'Left': 'If we were receiving single-payor, universal coverage and your taxes increased by the same amount you're complaining about (having to pay more/having to pay the penalty on), would you still be complaining?'

Neither of the above meant to be snide at all, but offer alternate context to the complaints.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 01:51:08 PM PDT

  •  Good ideas, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    guyeda, Jim Riggs

    ...PPACA actually made it more difficult to use pre-taxed income for medical expenses in 2 major ways:

    1. HSA/FSA limits have been more narrowly defined, and are more difficult to use in some instances. (Requiring doctor visits and scrips in order to deduct over-the-counter medical supplies.)

    2. Your medical expenses are only deductible on Sched. A to the extent they exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. Prior to PPACA, the floor was 7.5 percent AGI.

    I've got a better idea: Allow taxpayers to deduct, via line item, all medical expenses (including insurance premiums) to be straight-line deducted from gross income, as done now with retirement-plan contributions and student-loan interest.

    •  I like that idea. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

      by Jim Riggs on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 04:43:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I also think student-loan payments... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim Riggs

        ...should be deductible in full, not just interest payments, from gross income.

        I think of those 2 items every time there's mention of "tax reform" because I think those deductions would have a huge, positive impact on middle- and lower-income taxpayers (and the economy!), being two of the most major expenses faced by most households.

        Instead, we wind up with byzantine rules and special-interest carve-outs every time the tax code is changed.

  •  Is it your opinion that premiums on... (0+ / 0-)

    high deductible HSAs are going up? From what I can gather so far the MD exchange doesn't offer such a plan. I tried to get on today to verify that but the site was down.

    I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

    by Jim Riggs on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:16:19 PM PDT

  •  If you can afford to pay for high deductibles (0+ / 0-)

    perhaps your money would be better served by having a decent health insurance plan.

    Or do you believe you won't need expensive health care ever?

    Said by one who opted for no insurance for 8 years because I refused to pay $800 for high risk premium, as I was refused for mild hypertension, the only malady I had at the time.

    I saved $40,000 and was lucky.  It could have gone the other way.

    Now, at my Welcome to Medicare I find that my heart isn't working properly.  Bifiscicular block and heart murmur.  The doctor I saw once a year missed this.

    Tomorrow expensive nuclear stress test and echocardiagram.

    I think age is a determinent.  Lastly, the Copper or lowest plan is quite cheap.  All plans have the SAME coverage, just different costs.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:24:39 PM PDT

    •  The subsidized rate on Bronze is more expensive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      than the 'catastrophic' plan I have now.

      Patronizing 'maybe your money would be better served' aside, my plan covers 100% after the deductible is met, so unless I fail to keep enough to cover the deductible on my plan, I'm not out any money beyond the deductible and my relatively low monthly premium. I'd be willing to take some extra steps to prove I have the deductible covered if, in return, I had an option that was a similar monthly cost.

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 02:29:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be patronizing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton

        Bronze not copper....I am getting old.

        Maybe you could send your idea to your Congress members.

        I think those really poor that seem to fall through a hole in the ACA in states refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion, should be given an option for Medicare.  It is so unfair that they will be left out because of GOP Govs and Legislators.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 03:19:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Does the copper plan offer catastrophic coverage? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

      by Jim Riggs on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 04:47:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe I very well could need... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      expensive health care at some point, but I'm willing to pay the first $10-20k out of pocket if it means low enough premiums. I think that's responsible health care planning. It took a while to build up that health savings account.

      I appreciate that others aren't fortunate enough to do that and I think they should be provided every avenue, including subsidies, to affordable health insurance.

      I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

      by Jim Riggs on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:11:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jim, the cost of health care services (0+ / 0-)

        make $20K a drop in the bucket.

        Case in point.

        My friend went through weeks of chemo for state 2 cancer.

        She required 8 Nulasta shots so her white blood cells would stay under control.

        Each shot cost the insurance company $6,000

        The whole cancer adventure was huge.

        The Bronze plan covers 60% and the gov doesn't pay any subsidies towards the premiums which are low.

        Better yet, check this link to learn about the options
        http://101.communitycatalyst.org/...

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:32:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How's your friend? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          Did the shots work?

          I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

          by Jim Riggs on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:49:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  She is doing well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim Riggs

            And yes the shots worked really well, kept infections at bay

            While at the cancer center, I asked if the Medicaid patients got the Neulasta shots, too,

            The nurse dropped her eyes and said "No, Medicaid didn't cover the neulasta shots"

            I could tell she felt badly about this.

            Will this country provide the same health care to everyone ever?

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 08:52:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  2 problems (0+ / 0-)

    1. You happen to be financially well off enough to be able to spare $8000 to set aside.  How many americans are like you? This is a solution that would work for a handful of well-off people, and noone else.

    2. A more fundamental philosophical issue. You are probably young & healthy now. The time will come when you are no longer young & healthy.  You will need a comprehensive health insurance. It will be prohibitively expensive. Who do you think will help subsidize your healthcare when that day comes? Young people. But if young people are all selfishly esconced in their HSA type silos, then there won't be anyone to help lower the costs for you. You see- socialized healthcare is a social contract. You help the older folks pay for their healthcare today. When you get old, the younger folks will likewise help you pay for yours. Nobody gets cheated, and nobody gets a free ride.

    •  I think you don't really understand (0+ / 0-)

      the plan I'm in. I'm insuring myself and have 100% coverage after my deductible...so unless I no longer have the deductible $$ available, I'm no more a burden than anyone who has good insurance is.

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 03:10:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is the type of high deductible insurance (0+ / 0-)

        you are describing is a minimalist type of insurance that is good for young, healthy people, and not good for older, sicker people. The day will come when you move from the former category to the latter category. What will you do then?

    •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

      1. If you have $8k in your health savings account it doesn't tell me that you're "well off". It tells me that you take your health seriously and you have saved.

      2. I'm 62, w/sleep apnea and take 20mg zocor daily. And I like GoGo's idea.

      I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

      by Jim Riggs on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:29:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reply from the left... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead
    Complaints from the 'Left': 'If we were receiving single-payor, universal coverage and your taxes increased by the same amount you're complaining about (having to pay more/having to pay the penalty on), would you still be complaining?'
    No, because I'd know the money was actually going to pay for other people's healthcare as well, and not simply to line the pockets of insurance industry execs and oligarchy shareholders.

    (Caveat - I still haven't been able to get the site to let me create an account, so I have no idea what I might pay.)

  •  How will you get... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Republicans to change anything?  There are many relatively small technical changes needed, not uncommon, and the Rs won't allow a technical correction bill.  REPEAL AND REPLACE with nothing.

    Does the Bronze plan offer more coverage than your present plan?  Does an independent insurance agent have anything you would like that is outside the exchange?

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