This time Healthcare.gov did what it should have done the first year. It delivered what it said it would. I could seem plans and premiums before identifying myself. In North Carolina, there are three active insurers – Blue Cross/Shield of NC (Not Anthem), Aetna (formerly Coventry) and United Healthcare.
By reviewing the providers I can see
– Blue Cross is offering an overpriced total crap plan with only desperate providers
—– aligned with Carolina Health Care hospitals
– Aetna is aligned with Carolina Health Care, generally the lower quality hospital
– United Healthcare is aligned with Novant, the other health care oligarch
—— my family doctor works for them
—— my niece also works for them
—— the hospital is downtown, not quite as convenient
—— seeing a specialist requires a referral
By estimating my 2016 “income” at $35,000 the generous federal government money fairy offers $580 a month “subsidy”.
The “gold plan” from United Healthcare will be about $450 a month with the subsidy – a little over $1000 a month if I paid the whole premium. Annual deductible is $1000 instead of $5000 for the $815 a month Blue Cross bronze plan.
The magic to the subsidy is if I claim it now, but then don’t qualify, I don’t have to pay it all back. Nancy Pelosi loves me. If I actually “earn” $0 in 2016, I am not eligible for any subsidy for 2015 (because NC did not expand Medicaid), but I don’t have to pay a penny of the ~$7000 back when I file taxes for 2016 in April 2017, if I live that long. If I “make” less than $22,900, I have to pay back $300 of the $7000 (ouch!).
I clicked “I accept”.
The Republican debate convinced me there is no chance Obamacare is going away. Not one of the candidates appreciates the institutional inertia they face. Fighting to end abortion, impose a no fly zone over Syria, keep the King of Jordon in power for a thousand years, rebuild the 6th Fleet or promising to implement a flat tax will not create a groundswell that puts 60 Republicans in the Senate. Anything substantial Republicans will try to do even with a President and filibuster proof Senate will be immediately thrown out by the Federal Courts. They don’t need a reason. They have power.
2016 will likely become the year I “fix” things I’ve put off like getting a hearing aid. Even though I think it is a sham, I even signed up for dental insurance through Delta Dental.
What’s your story?