Having a high-deductible self-employed individual health care insurance plan today apparently.
16 million individual policy owners are going to lose their health care plans by January 1, 2014. God only knows how many millions more who are now covered by their corporate plan will lose that employer-paid health care when their employers terminate those plans and dump them into the Barack Obama Exchanges.
Chris Conover of the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy and the Fuqua Business School estimates a 'cool' 129 MILLION Americans who now have plans 'they like' will not be able to stay on them in the next several years. (See 'No, David Axelrod!')
All of them, every single one of them, were 'promised' by President Barack Obama that they could 'keep their insurance if they wanted to' repeatedly since 2009 when he took office.
Apparently President Obama doesn't know what the word 'promise' means or where it comes from. It means:
'a declaration made about the future, about some act to be done or not done'. Derivation from the Latin and French words conveying the sense of 'send forth'; 'let go'; 'foretell; and most importantly, 'to give assurance beforehand'.
So. What can you do now, besides shop for plans on the exchanges (which are not lower but much higher in many cases)?
- Just pay the higher premiums, shrug your shoulders and say: 'Oh, well. That is the way it goes, I guess'
- Complain, bitch and complain again on Facebook, Twitter and to your friends with whom you probably already agree 99.99%
- Get determined to repeal Obamacare or at least change significant pieces of it.
- Organize 1000 of your friends to vote against anyone who voted for Obamacare in the first place in 2010. Many House Members were wiped out in the 2010 GOP tsunami as the first wave of dissent against Obamacare. (*List of current incumbent US Senators who voted for Obamacare in 2010 attached below and whose seats are up for election in 2014)
We need a second one.
And/Or.... you can just decide to not buy any health care insurance. At all. Seriously. That is what we have heard a lot of people say they had come to the same conclusion without any help from us.
It is simply a matter of basic math, addition and subtraction really. You can call it something fancy such as 'personalized cost/benefit analysis' or 'risk/reward ratios' but the bottom-line is you are going to do whatever leaves the most amount of money in your pocket and not in the government's wallet or BCBS' bank account, yes?
Here's how it would work if you are in the individual self-insured market:
- Don't buy any health insurance at all from now on. Not from BCBS. Not from the exchanges.
- Pay the personal tax penalty each year. It is expected to be $95 per person in 2014 or 1% of modified gross income
- Save all the money you would have paid in health care premiums and put it in a diversified growth fund. For self-employed individuals with HSAs now, that could be $500-$800/month or between $6000-$9600/year you would be setting aside to pay for most of your medical expenses.
- And if you find yourself in need of a major hospitalization or treatment, sign up for Obamacare on your way to the hospital since, as we all know by now, 'you can't be turned away for any pre-existing condition'.
Finding out you have cancer would certainly qualify as a 'pre-existing condition', wouldn't you think? Just sign up on a new specially designed app on your IPhone on the way to the hospital. You will have then covered yourself in the case of catastrophic bills and saved a ton of money in the interim.
Very few people each year account for the largest percentage of costs in the healthcare system. Many are in their last few months of life for example and have failed to properly execute a living will that would take them off of the respirators when the doctors determine death is imminent and there is no need to keep a patient on (expensive) artificial life support and machines.
So the chances of you actually experiencing a catastrophic event in any given year is very small. Tiny in fact.
If Obamacare has so scrambled the eggs of our current privately-based healthcare system in America that you can not get a reasonably-priced high-deductible HSA any longer, you may want to consider this strategy after consulting with your financial counselors and accountants.
If you pay the $95 or 1% tax penalty, it is almost impossible to see how you will pay less than that for any form of health care offered now on the exchanges or by your current provider if you have a HSA or similar health care insurance plan.
Think about it: You will be starving not only the Obamacare exchanges of money they thought you would pay into their convoluted plan, you will also be starving your current health insurance plan of monthly premiums they were counting on you paying after they jacked up the premiums 2-3 times the current amount.
You get to thumb your nose at both Obamacare AND the Big Bad Insurance Companies, many of which thought Obamacare would be a boon to their business.
You can make it be a 'boom' for both and force everyone to go back to the drawing boards again and 'start over from the beginning'.
There are better ways to fix our healthcare system in America. We can, and have, put men on the moon...and we can't logically and systematically fix the system that is supposed to help keep us healthy?
*List of Current US Senators Who Voted For Obamacare in 2009/10, all Democrats and who's seat is up for election in 2014
- Mark Begich (Alaska) (likely goes Republican)
- Mark Pryor (Arkansas) (could go Republican)
- Mark Udall (Colorado)
- Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) (could go Republican)
- Al Franken (Minnesota)
- Max Baucus (Montana) (likely goes Republican)
- Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
- Tom Udall (New Mexico)
- Kay Hagan (North Carolina) (could go Republican)
- Jeff Merkeley (Oregon)
- Tim Johnson (South Dakota) (likely goes Republican)
- Mark Warner (Virginia)
- Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia) (likely goes Republican)
**How the ObamaCare Tax Penalty Works
Your tax penalty (shared responsibility fee) for not having insurance is paid on your taxes at the end of the year. If your taxable income is below 133% of the FPL you are exempt from this tax.
2014 = $95 per person per year or 1% of your Income
2015 = $325 per person per year or 2% of your Income
2016 = $695 per person per year or 2.5% of your Income
2017 = Tax Penalty will increase by the rate of inflation going forward, or 2.5% of your Income
• The penalty is based on modified adjusted gross income.
• The total penalty for the taxable year cannot exceed the national average of the annual premiums of a bronze-level health insurance plan offered through the health insurance marketplaces.
• The maximum penalty per family is capped at no more than 300% of the minimum penalty (e.g. $695 x 300% = $2,085)
• Children under 18 are assessed at 50% of the minimum penalty.
• The penalty is pro-rated for the number of months you are without health insurance, though there is no penalty for a single gap in coverage of less than 3 months in a year.
• Health insurance plans will provide proof of coverage for their customers so as long as you have health insurance you don't have to worry about the details.