Well, reality is hitting the fan.
Just a quick recap – I turn 60 in three weeks, live in North Carolina, continually insured since 1986, rarely see a doctor. This isn’t about me – just to provide a data point for you.
I currently have the most worthless Blue Cross Coverage, which is what I want. For $560 a month, it requires a Health Savings Account, and has a $5000+ deductible before it pays for anything – but it does lock providers into Blue Cross’s reimbursement schedules, even though I pay 100%. Think of it as medical extortion. I sure do.
Healthcare.gov put the prices up online over the weekend. In 2015, there were two providers – Coventry and Blue Cross. For 2016, there are three. Yay for competition. Coventry was acquired by Aetna in 2013, and now Aetna operates under their own name. The new entrant is Obama’s buddy UnitedHealthCare. During the summer, rumors were that UnitedHealthCare wanted to buy Aetna, but that hasn’t happened yet.
So, the comparable Bronze plan from Blue Cross – with an additional $1500 in deductible plus a much narrower Doctor list (basically those that accept Medicaid) rises from $560 a month to $815 a month.
What to do? Looking at the comparison, Blue Cross fell over the cliff. Staying with them with a 45% increase is not an option, no matter what plan I would consider.
North Carolina rejected Medicaid expansion, therefore the state is being punished. As an early retiree, my income is whatever I say it is – being 59 1/2, I face no early withdrawal penalty for pulling money from IRA and SEP accounts – but the income will be taxable as ordinary income, and ultimately influence Obamacare subsidy eligibility.
If I “make” less than $15k, there is no subsidy.
If I “make” $20,000, Obamacare will pay $770 a month.
If I “make” $45,000 a year, Obamacare still pays $550 a month.
If I “make” $50,000 a year, Obamacare pays nothing, because I’m “rich”.
Repeal and Replace is just around the corner!