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Because I live in Orange County it often occurs to me to subscribe to the LA Times. Then they publish something like this, on the digital front page, and the notion melts away.

Middle class gets Obamacare sticker shock
Hmmmm, seems like I've been hearing just the opposite. Have things suddenly gone bad for the very successful exchange that's been rolling out so smoothly in California? How could that be? Let's take a gander.
Who is this author - Chad Terhune? Hey, didn't he write for the Wall Street Journal? Why yes - he most certainly did. Well, well, well.
The very title of the article starts off with a lie. I'm middle class and most of the folks I work with and associate with are middle class. Nary a peep form any of them about Obamacare raising their rates. Know why? That's because the vast majority of the middle class are covered through their employer. They're gainfully employed. That's why they're middle class.
But Chad says:
Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don't like what they see.
Just who are these thousands?
...experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama's signature legislation.
Ahh, the individual policy holders.
Chad follows that with a quote from an expert:
"This is when the actual sticker shock comes into play for people," said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. "There are winners and losers under the Affordable Care Act."
Hmmm, strange quote from a fellow that said, on Fox Business News just days earlier:
"Ultimately, either your insurer is going to lower your premium, or you're going to keep getting this end-of-year 'bonus,'" Kominski says. "Either way, we're better off."
Yes - that's Fox Business News.
Wait - it gets better...

Now comes the anecdotal evidence so treasured by the anti-ObamaCare propagandists.
Poor Jennifer Harris, an attorney living in Fullerton, CA. She and her spouse only bring in $80,000 a year. She had coverage for $98 a month. Now it's going to skyrocket to $238 a month. OMG! What will she do?
Hey... wait a minute. Ninety eight dollars a month? That's a scam insurance policy. A con. Something meant only for the dumbest of the dumb.
In California, where auto insurance is also mandatory, there are certain minimum standards in place to keep out these phony insurance policies that don't really cover anything. That way the rest of us don't wind up covering for folks stupid enough to sign up for these phony policies - like Jennifer. (Note to self: never hire Jennifer Harris as an attorney).
In addition, $238 a month to cover a couple, with a pregnancy, is a great deal. Some insurance policies would have denied her coverage before ObamaCare. Yet there sits Jennifer - unable to comprehend it all. Whew - that's Orange County for ya.

Let's move on:

Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.
"She said, 'I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'" Kehaly said.
Yes - somebody said something to Pam, the President of Blue Cross in California. You just know Pam's word is as good as gold. Lord almighty!
The article meanders along variously quoting others -
Patrick Johnston, president of the California Assn. of Health Plans - yes another insurance industry shill.
A couple more anecdotes and stories.
And then, buried under all the crap is a quote from Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. Lee points out that:
some rate hikes will be partially offset by smaller deductibles and lower limits on out-of-pocket medical expenses in the new plans
Yeah - one of the hallmarks of the phony coverage plans touted by folks like Jennifer is astronomical deductibles and sky-high out-of-pocket medical expenses. But, ya know - $98 dollars a month! It's all good!

To see this kind of crap on the front page of the LA Times is really sad. Did the Koch brothers already buy them?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually, a very low premium policy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, usa4jer, annecros, VClib

    that covers only catastrophic insurance is not necessarily a "scam," but may make economic sense for young, healthy people without any serious health issues.  

    For someone like that, what you pay out of pocket for your one or two doctor visits a year, plus a low premium, is financially more attractive than much higher premium policies that cover routine type visits.  This is especially true if you have a health savings account, where you pay for those few things with pre-tax dollars.  The math is not difficult to do.  It made a lot of sense for some of our employees.  It's not a "scam" simply because it is a low premium, catastrophic coverage policy.  

    I know that the ACA mandates comprehensive type coverage.  But often younger, healthier people don't need -- or want -- that.  Unfortunately for them, the system needs them to buy comprehensive policies and pay more -- even when it may not make financial sense for them - -so that they can help subsidize others.  And it makes sense that not all of them will be happy about that.  

    •  Young people get sick too (9+ / 0-)

      And they need regular care just as any other age group does.
      It's not unfortunate that they are required to be covered comprehensively - it's good for them and good for everybody.

      •  Do the math. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo, Victor Ward, annecros, thomask, VClib

        Let's say you have two options.  Option 1:  premiums of $100 a month, pays nothing until you reach $3000.  

        Option 2:  premiums of $250 a month, pays 80% of all doctor visits, etc., until you reach $5000 a month.

        Based on your medical history, you visit a doctor twice a year at $150 per visit.  

        Which one makes more economic sense?  If you can do math, it's option 1.  

        Option 1 is even MORE attractive if you have a health savings account, where you put $1000 a year away pre-tax and use that to pay any not covered medical bills.

        Those are just examples, of course, but that's the kind of math a lot of young people can do.  If you are, say, under 35 and healthy, the chances of having really really expensive medical needs are very very low.  And if it happens, you have that catastrophic policy that keeps you from going bankrupt over medical care.  

        Insurance is a risk/reward proposition.  That's why for young healthy people a catastrophic policy sometimes makes economic sense.  You pay the routine stuff out of pocket, and have a low premium policy in the event the rare, but very expensive, situation happens.  

        •  Try again (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kerplunk, doroma, ZedMont
          I know that the ACA mandates comprehensive type coverage
          Actually, ACA has "catastrophic" coverage available.

          The example I site from the article is of a woman who is already pregnant. Would you advise catastrophic coverage for a pregnant woman? Do the math.
          There are loads of phony coverage plans out there and the ACA weeds them out - thank heaven.
          •  Sigh. Actually reading would help here. (5+ / 0-)
            Would you advise catastrophic coverage for a pregnant woman?
            Unless she's got several years of an HSA built up so she can cover the out-of-pocket.  

            I did not say that everyone is better off with catastrophic type coverage.  Only that SOME people are.  That was in response to your assertion in the diary

            Ninety eight dollars a month? That's a scam insurance policy. A con. Something meant only for the dumbest of the dumb.
            That assertion by you is not true -- that was my point.  For some people, that kind of policy makes economic sense -- it's not a "scam," and they are not the "dumbest of the dumb."   For some people who are young, healthy, and can do math, they may not WANT anything more.  

            And maybe you should READ YOUR OWN LINK. Here's that policy you cited:  

            People under 30 and people with hardship exemptions may buy a "catastrophic" health plan. It protects you from very high medical costs.
            That kind of policy is only available to people "with hardship exemptions."  A young, healthy, single 33 year old with a job paying say $45,000 is not going to qualify for a "hardship exemption."  That young healthy single 33 year old MAY be financially better off under that $98 a month policy that you called a "scam," for the "dumbest of the dumb."  
            •  Still wrong - let's deal in the real world (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kerplunk, doroma, Theodore J Pickle

              It's simply not realistic to gamble with health costs.

              Based on your medical history, you visit a doctor twice a year at $150 per visit.
              So, because it hasn't happened before it won't happen in the future? That's just stupid. It doesn't add up because there is no math to back it up. It's just a warm and fuzzy fantasy.

              I've seen people try that approach with plans and they wind up getting burned. That's the real world. Not the fantasy "math based" world.

              That "it can't happen to me" lures in the suckers all the time.

              It's lured you in too.

              •  One more time. (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Victor Ward, usa4jer, annecros, T Maysle, VClib

                Insurance is about managing risks.  If (1) your risk of having some catastrophic health event -- other than a car accident, which is probably going to be covered by car insurance -- is maybe 1 in 20 (for a lot of those young people, it's more remote than that); (2) and your policy kicks in after a very very high, but manageable number that won't completely bankrupt you, even if it takes you 3 years to pay off; and (3) taking that 1 in 20 risk that you'll have a $5000 bill saves you $2400 a year ($200 a month), then yes, it absolutely makes sense to take that 1 in 20 risk for a savings of $2400 a year.  If you have your catastrophe until year 3, you are financially about even.  If you don't have your catastrophe (and there's only a 1 in 20 chance you will) you are way, way, way ahead financially.  

                So, because it hasn't happened before it won't happen in the future? That's just stupid. It doesn't add up because there is no math to back it up. It's just a warm and fuzzy fantasy.
                No one is saying that.  What I AM saying is that you look at a risk/reward situation, like any other financial transaction (including, for example, buying a house).  If the risk of a catastrophe is very low, and the worst thing that's going to happen if that rare catastrophe happens  is that you'll have an extra debt for a few years and have to pinch pennies for a few years, it makes sense to take that very low risk in exchange for $2400 a year in your pocket.  

                Again, its a matter of math -- and an evaluation of your own particular risk.  People could figure out for themselves if that $98 a month policy made sense for them.  It wasn't a "scam" for the "dumbest of the dumb."  For some, it was a logical evaluation of what level of risk they were financially willing to take in exchange for the sure thing of far less in monthly premiums.  

                •  Fantasyland with fantasy numbers (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kerplunk, doroma
                  Insurance is about managing risks.
                  Sez you - and the other suckers.
                  Insurance is there to cover the unexpected - things that don't fit neatly into your warm fuzzy numbers.
                  $2,400 a year in your pocket is a joke. $200 bucks a month. If you're making enough making enough to not need a subsidy you can for sure afford $200 a month to cover the unexpected.
                  Do the math.
                  •  Sure you can AFFORD the extra $200 (6+ / 0-)

                    But why would you, when it doesn't make ECONOMIC sense to pay that extra $200?  Why would you, if you are economically better off to take that extra $200 and, say, put it in savings for a down payment on a house?

                    It doesn't make economic sense to pay $200 a month to insure against a $5,000 event that has only a one in 20 chance of happening in a particular year and that is manageable -- if unpleasant -- if it happens. Figuring that out is a calculation that insurers do all the time.  Individuals can do the same math. And what's your chance at that age of having an event in a particular year that goes over your lifetime cap of say, $250,000?  maybe one in 1000?  At that age, since bankruptcy is not as big a deal, it makes economic sense to run that risk.  

                    I learned how to do that kind of analysis as soon as I was living on my own. It's the same kind of analysis you do when you are offered an extended warranty on something, like a car or a major appliance.  Those are insurance policies as well, "insuring" you against the chances your appliance or car will have certain kinds of breakdowns within a certain period of time.  Most people who have done the analysis tell you those don't make economic sense.  You can do the analysis yourself -- and if it doesn't make economic sense, you shouldn't get the extended warranty, whether you can afford it or not.  

                    Even when you can AFFORD something, you still ask whether it makes sense as a matter of economics and whether you'd rather put the funds somewhere else.

                    Young healthy people could have paid more for those more comprehensive policies before the ACA.  The fact that they chose not to does not mean that they were "conned" or scammed, or that they were "the dumbest of the dumb."  It may mean that they simple made a rational economic decision.  

                    •  Typical conservative dodge (5+ / 3-)

                      You can apply that same logic to Social Security.
                      That's what Bush and cronies said.
                      Hey - it's your money kids! Invest it any way you want!
                      That's a bogus argument offered by conservatives all the time.
                      The money they're paying into the system now not only covers their current medical incidents it provides a structure and system to protect them as they age.

                      It's the same kind of analysis you do when you are offered an extended warranty on something, like a car or a major appliance.
                      Not even close. Your health is not an appliance. It's not an analogous situation at all.

                      Get real.

                      •  Why was this comment HR'd? (5+ / 0-)

                        People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

                        by WFBMM on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:55:41 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  You are now making a different argument (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VClib, mbradshawlong

                        What I was responding to was this comment by you:

                        Ninety eight dollars a month? That's a scam insurance policy. A con. Something meant only for the dumbest of the dumb.
                        Your first argument was that this woman who had the $98 a month policy was getting scammed, conned, or was "the dumbest of the dumb."  

                        My response was to show you that for some smart people who are not "the dumbest of the dumb," who are not getting "scammed or conned," a catastrophic coverage only type policy makes economic sense for them.  They had logical, rational, economic reasons for choosing that kind of policy for their particular circumstances.  

                        Now you are saying, but letting that make that choice that may be economically rational for them now is bad policy for the country as a whole.  I agree with you this is exactly the premise underlying the ACA -- that they should be required to buy a type of policy that is not as much in their own personal financial best interests so as to benefit the system as a whole.   But that's a different argument from saying that these high deductible, catastrophic only coverage policies were a "con" or a "scam" on those who bought them, or were only bought by "the dumbest of the dumb."  

                        •  You missed my first point (0+ / 0-)

                          but caught my second.

                          But first - I'd like to hear where you stand.

                          Exactly what is your position about the ACA's mandatory minimum coverage? You've never said.

                          Your first argument was that this woman who had the $98 a month policy was getting scammed, conned, or was "the dumbest of the dumb."

                          Yup - and your it-won't-happen-to-me approach to healthcare coverage I consider bogus and not based in reality. I've said that several times. It's not a real world based approach.

                          Your statement that "Insurance is about managing risks." is an invalid premise. I stated that as well.

                          Soooo - as to the second point - ACA's mandatory minimum coverage - where do you stand?

                          •  I think mandatory minimum coverage (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            VClib, mbradshawlong

                            is necessary if you want a system that requires that insurance companies provide insurance for pre-existing conditions and use community rating.  

                            If you have those two -- if I can wait until AFTER I'm diagnosed with a serious illness to buy insurance, AND there's no mandate, then 2 things can happen.  (1) People wait until they have a real need for health care (like after they are diagnosed with something) to buy insurance; and (2) because you are primarily covering those who are already in greater need of health care, the rates for those who do sign up become astronomical.  

                            The only practical way around that as far as I can see is the mandate,  so that the young and healthy can subsidize the older and sicker.  The young and healthy pay more than they otherwise would (because of a mandate for the kind of comprehensive coverage that they otherwise might not want) and the older and sicker pay less than they otherwise would (because of the community rating and the prohibition against discriminating based on pre-existing conditions).

                            In other words, mandatory minimum coverage helps some (those who otherwise could not get insurance or for whom, because of their health situation, insurance would be hugely expensive, and thus are paying less) and hurts some (the young and healthy, some of whom neither wanted nor needed that level of coverage and thus are paying more).  In other words, it's a situation where the young and healthy pay to subsidize the older and less healthy.  

                            The mandatory minimum coverage is the only way the system can financially work.  But you have to expect those that are suddenly going to pay more to subsidize the older and sicker are not happy about that, because that is not how the ACA was sold to them.  It was sold to them as "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."  No one told them that would not be true if you were young and healthy and had certain kinds of coverage.  No one told them, when the ACA was being "marketed" to them, that passing the ACA would cause them to pay significantly more for their health insurance whether they wanted to or not.   So their frustration is understandable.  

                          •  State what you like (0+ / 0-)
                            Your statement that "Insurance is about managing risks." is an invalid premise. I stated that as well.
                            It doesnt make it true.  That state is utterly false.

                            Insurance, by definition, is about managing risk.  Every type of insurance is about risk:  fire, flood, auto, life, and health.

                            There is entire science called Actuarialism that is the statistical calculation of risk and need that is used to determine price points and terms.  It's what they do. This is not some "talking point".  Major universities offer degrees I Actuarial Science and ALL of it based on mathematically calculating risk.

                            You can keep accusing everyone tha disagrees with you as being a republican or "cicada" or whatever other derogatory term makes you feel better; you are still wrong.

                            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                            by Wisper on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 06:59:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Capt C - Bush never said that regarding SocSec (0+ / 0-)

                        What Bush proposed was that those who chose to (it was all voluntary) could take a portion of their future contributions and invest them in a very limited number of alternatives. Those funds would belong to the individual, and if not used prior to death, would be part of their estate.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:03:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  You're making a Republican talking point (5+ / 0-)

                      You can apply that same logic to Social Security.
                      That's what Bush and cronies said.
                      Hey - it's your money kids! Invest it any way you want!
                      That's a bogus argument offered by conservatives all the time.
                      The money they're paying into the system now not only covers their current medical incidents it provides a structure and system to protect them as they age.

                      It's the same kind of analysis you do when you are offered an extended warranty on something, like a car or a major appliance
                      Not even close. Your health is not an appliance. It's not an analogous situation at all.

                      As I said before - I've personally seen people get burned by those catastrophic plans you espouse as a possible "good deal".  Sure enough, the folks I saw get burned were indeed "the dumbest of the dumb". They were indeed conned.

                      They, like you, bought the bogus "Insurance is about managing risks." line.

                      That's real world - not a numerical calculation.

                •  Debt or Bankruptcy is NOT the worst thing (7+ / 0-)

                  My sister got MS in 20's.  Others get cancer or have an accident with a chronic disabling injury.  

                  You never want a lifetime cap because you need the insurance to keep paying the bills so you can keep getting medical care.  

                  Decades now after my sister's death my mother still recalls with horror her having a seizure while traveling and the hospital holding up any care until mom could prove my sister had insurance.  In her case, she had fantastic insurance, but if she had not, they would not have admitted her at all.  They'd have transported her to someplace public and she'd probably have gotten minimum care before being shown the door.

                  If you are chronically ill, you can't earn back the debt you incur and you cannot get adequate care without spending down all your assets which leaves you unable to cover the expenses that you have that are not covered by Medicaid or anything else.  

                  Dying without dignity is not a good plan, ever.  

                  So kids, get insurance.  Don't whine.  The worst thing that can happen to you is that your stay healthy.

            •  If I was 25... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Victor Ward, annecros, T Maysle, VClib

              I have to agree with coffeetalk on this one. For a younger person, I think the smartest way to insure myself would have been to get a catastrophic insurance account with a high deductible and a lifetime cap of maybe $250,000 - possibly higher (which I know are both now gone). This would be to give me some intermediate coverage at the very lowest price possible.  The numbers tell me that being young, I have a high probability of having very few health problems. If I would happen to get into an auto accident or some such problem, I have my catastrophic insurance to help me out. If I truly did have a very major medical issue, then I would mount up the costs and once I was well, I would just declare bankruptcy. At a younger age, in 7 years (if I survived) I would have a clean record again. This is what many professionals did in earlier years before the bankruptcy laws were tightened - they went to college - got all their degrees via loans - got a first job and then immediately and successfully declared bankruptcy. For them it was a no-brainer. They had a bad record for 7 years or so, but with their high salaries, even that didn't prevent many of them from getting credit again after only a few years. That's the main reason the bankruptcy laws were changed so you can no longer discharge student loans via bankruptcy. Too many people had learned how to successfully game the system.

              I'm sure there were scam insurance policies out there, but there were also many very good quality, low cost catastrophic policies that made sense for many people. They weren't low-intelligence types at all and they weren't being scammed. They had made a logical, informed decision and had selected a plan that made perfect sense for them - and in most cases saved them a boatload of money over time at a relatively low risk to themselves.

              I really will be very interested to see how many young, healthy individuals do sign up. I really done have any idea how that is going to turn out.

              •  If you are 25 without a lot of assets (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OrganicChemist, Victor Ward, VClib

                bankruptcy is not a really big deal.  

                That is precisely the reason that student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  Because if you could amass $150,000 in student loan debt, graduate, and immediately declare bankruptcy and get rid of that debt, a whole lot of people would do exactly that.  

              •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Capt Crunch, gramofsam1

                Just mount up the costs and then walk away.  Terrific.  Is that the "personal responsibility" we hear so much about?

                •  Who has personal responsibility? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  coffeetalk, VClib, mbradshawlong

                  I'm not promoting not having personal responsibility at all. I didn't advocate not having any insurance at all - just having a policy that made logical and financial sense. I'm not advocating running up credit cards and then just walking away - I'm not advocating buying a house many times what I could afford and then walking away when the times get tough - I'm not advocating going into debt to open a pizza parlor (one of the most risky of business ventures) and then walking away from all the debt when it fails - I'm saying that declaring bankruptcy after a life changing event not of my doing is what the bankruptcy laws were designed for. I think medical bankruptcy is an ethical (though obviously unfortunate) option. For young, healthy people, I think it is a very rare occurrence. That's why I think a low cost catastrophic plan for that demographic made sense when they were still available. I guess it's a moot point now, anyways.

                  •  Here's the difference (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Capt Crunch

                    If responsible policyholders (whether through an employer or individually) fall upon hard times, lose their insurance and then can't get insurance because of a pre-existing condition, I don't have a problem with those folks filing bankruptcy.

                    But it looked to me that you were advocating it as a financial strategy....don't bother to get health insurance because it doesn't make financial sense for you to do so and anyway, if you get into a costly accident, just plan on filing bankruptcy. Easy peasy. Free healthcare.

                    The problem is that we're dealing with contradictory risk assessments. The low-risk young person doesn't see the financial sense in paying for a policy so doesn't purchase insurance. The insurance companies don't see the financial sense in providing insurance to a certain class of individuals because their medical care cuts too much into their bottom line.  So either we have the young get into the pool or we should admit that we're okay with writing off access to healthcare for a portion of the population.  At least that's the only choice as long as our healthcare system is based on a private insurance payment system.

        •  those aren't the policies under discussion (4+ / 0-)

          Option 3: premium of $100 a month. Maximum coverage per year of $15k, maximum lifetime coverage of $50k.

          If the pregnant woman has major complications with the birth, or gets cancer, her insurance won't cover the full expanses.

          That's the junk insurance that's now illegal under the ACA.

          •  Read Organic Chemist's comment (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward, annecros, T Maysle, VClib

            If you are young, and the risk of that is very low (not all women get pregnant every year -- some of us actually plan when to get pregnant) a policy with very low premiums, and extremely high deductible and a lifetime cap might makes sense.  In the one in 100 chance (maybe higher) you reach that lifetime cap, bankruptcy may not be a big deal.  It may well be a risk you are willing to take.   That's an option that is no longer available to you.  

            I understand why that happens.  Those young healthy people have to pay more in premiums than they were before -- more than is necessary to manage their own risk -- to subsidize those of us who are older and use the medical system more.  That makes financial sense for the system as a whole, and for those with reasons their premiums were very high before or those who couldn't get insurance before, but may not make sense for the young and healthy -- because it's not supposed to make sense for them.  They are supposed to be subsidizing the rest of us.

            The fact that they are paying more to benefit the system as a whole does not mean that they are going to be happy about paying more.  

            •  The young and the healthy (5+ / 0-)

              will become the old and the sick, or at least deemed to be at higher risk for getting sick, someday.  So yes, it is kind of the price we pay for living in a civilized society.

              The only people who get this are those who had the cushy situation of being insulated in an employer-based plan and then had that situation change. They may find out that something they never considered a pre-existing condition is one, and then they can't afford (if they're even allowed to purchase) an insurance policy.

              I could just turn away from this fight as I am one of those in a cushy employer plan, and have been most of my life.  But I do know the other side*, and now,  if it weren't for the ACA, I suspect I would be turned down for individual insurance due to a recent bout with breast cancer.   It's kind of that "there but for the grace of god..." thing.    

              *By the way complaining about $238/month?  I paid $620/month on COBRA in CA in 2006 after a layoff.  I would have loved those kind of rates!

          •  Should Be Added to the Diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Capt Crunch


            If that is the policy ("Option 3") that the pregnant attorney in the article has, I'd recommend the diarist edit the diary to include that information.

            The topic of the diary is about the LA Times article, but the initial posts were spammed off course.

            Thanks for posting!

        •  They will someday, however, be High Risk.. (3+ / 0-)

          If they are fortunate to live that long. Then, they will be put in the same pool with the young to make it possible for all to afford.

          It only works if we're all in.

          What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

          by Cpqemp on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:18:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sure, if you have a crystal ball (7+ / 0-)

      that will tell you exactly when you will get pregnant and have complications, get cancer (which does sometimes affect younger people) or appendicitis, or get hit by a car while riding your bike and need months of physical therapy.

      Nobody "needs" it until something unexpected happens, just like car insurance.

      •  No, that's why you have the coverage after (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward, annecros, VClib

        you reach a certain number, say $5000.  If you are 35 and making $50,000 a year, for example, you have maybe a 1 in 20 or higher chance of getting to that $5000.  It's much, much, much more likely you'll end up financially better to pay one or two doctor's visits out of pocket and have really low premiums.  You'll take that 1 in 20 chance that you'll get bills adding up to $5000, because while that will make things hard for a while, while you pay that off, it won't be an economic catastrophe because you are covered above that.  

    •  Gotta Agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros, T Maysle, VClib, mbradshawlong

      I'm in this boat for sure. I was paying $150/mo. for insurance with a $5k deductible. That plan is being phased out and the equivalent will cost about $225/mo. I understand why it's necessary, and I'm glad I can afford it, but based on the numbers I entered into the system I'd still have to pay the same if I were earning half what I do. And that would be a struggle.

      Where the ACA seems to be making good is that the Gold and Platinum plans are only a little more than the Bronze, and those would've been way more expensive in the past. So I'll get better coverage than I would've in the past. But a lot of people my age aren't exactly stoked that they're having to get rid of their catastrophe insurance (which is not, by any means, a scam) and the low premiums that go along with it.

      This may hurt a little but it's something you'll get used to.

      by usa4jer on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:30:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For $75 a month more (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You're getting a better insurance policy AND building a system to protect should you reach old age and that's not a good dal to you?
        I don't understand that.
        On top of that you're saying that you could cut your income in half and you still wouldn't be eligible for subsidies?
        You gotta be making waaaaay too much to be complaining about $75 a month for something that is will benefit you for your entire life.
        Do you feel the same way about Social Security?

        •  I think it is debatable whether it will benefit (0+ / 0-)

          I think it is still debatable and only time will tell whether the ACA will benefit people for life.  It seems like it is truly a step in the right direction, but these debates over catastrophic insurance and the costs of premiums are legitimate issues that need to be looked into and fixed.  

          Our household is in a similar situation.  We buy insurance on the private market and our premiums are rising.  The plans that we had before are considered catastrophic insurance and are no longer available for us.  We had $7500.00 (yes that is a high number) per person annual deductibles, but then 100% coverage after that.  No lifetime caps, but also no mental health or pregnancy coverage.  With the new plans we'll spend spend about $70.00-100.00 more per month (still trying to pick out a plan).  It'll be a lower deductible at $5550.00 per person, but then it only will kick into 60% coverage. We won't get 100% coverage until the max out of pocket of 6350.00 is reached.  We've never hit our annual deductible or even got close to it.  We've been spending less than 2000.00 + insurance premiums for both of us for all our medical care per year.  

          I'm a little frustrated that we can't keep our catastrophic plans.  I wouldn't be so upset about cost sharing and paying extra to subsidize others if I felt like the money were really doing that.  However, since we're paying insurance premiums to a private corporation, I feel like it is simply subsidizing the insurance company's bottom line instead.  I want a public option.
          I would be far less hesitant about paying higher premiums in that situation.  Overall, the ACA does benefit us, but I think it is still flawed and needs to be improved.

  •  Too little info (8+ / 0-)

    What frustrates me about the Times article is that it doesn't go into detail about just what that $98/month policy covered and didn't cover so that we could make a reasoned evaluation of the situation. It just asserts as a "given" that Harris thought of it as a "great deal" then moves on to scare people about the ACA.

    I agree that someone making her kind of salary can probably afford to pay $238/month for quality health insurance. It doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me.

  •  Maybe "ObamaCare Lies" should be added to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch, doroma, ybruti

    the new policy by the LA Times to stop publishing lies about Climate change.  Umm... scratch the word "Maybe" up there.

    Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
    I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

    by watercarrier4diogenes on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 01:40:42 PM PDT

  •  Medical on your auto insurance (4+ / 0-)

    For those who say they don't worry about not having insurance because their auto policy will pay for those costs should they result from a car accident, how the heck much does your policy cover?  Better be a lot....

    Also, I noticed on my auto policy that medical only covers expenses for one year following the accident. So if you have, for example, a traumatic brain injury which (I can assure you) will require long-term, ongoing care, you'd have to come up with that money.  But even just for that first year, you could be talking about at least a half a million dollars.

  •  Plus no insurance covers all your expenses (3+ / 0-)

    If you have a truly disabling illness or injury no insurance is going to cover all your needs.  So you will need the money you think you have for other reasons.  No disability policy covers all your needs either.  

    Plus if you do get disabled in your 20's, you may still live a long life so your needs are actually much greater than someone who becomes disabled late in life.  

    If you have spinal cord injury, you're going to want state of the art rehab.  You're going to want a cool wheelchair.  If you lose a leg, you're going to want a prosthetic device that allows you to be truly mobile, probably several so you can engage in sports or whatever.  You don't want to be limited to the bargain basement devices.  

    You may need to remodel your house.  You probably want one of those vans that you can drive your wheelchair into and be independent and go where you want go.  

    And if YOU can't afford these things, you betcha your extended family is going to be on the hook paying or holding fundraisers for you.

  •  $98 a month? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch, ybruti

    Heck that's vision and dental only for 2 people at best.

    I stopped my long time LA Times subscription when they replaced Robert Scheer with Jonah Goldberg.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:15:29 PM PDT

  •  Read that same article today and got pissed off. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch

    Doyle McManus in the same newspaper had an anti-healthcare screed, too. The media, journalism, the right, and too many left-of-center are in an unholy alliance lately.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:47:46 PM PDT

  •  Same article is on the Fresno BEE front page (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch

    today. Thanks for the analysis.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 08:55:17 AM PDT

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